Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the other characters connected to it, they belong to Joss Whedon and whoever else owns the rights. I also don’t own Logan and Jean Grey or any of the other X-Men as they belong to Stan Lee, and Marvel Comics. Anything else used in this story belongs to whoever created them or owns the rights to them.
Pairing: Xander/Jenny/Cordelia Logan/Jean/Besty
Notes: Alternate take on the Halloween episode. What if everyone including a teacher or two was conned by Snyder into Halloween? What if Ethan had used different costumes? Also in this story the X-Men/Marvel universe exists in the same dimension.
Summary: A simple Halloween turns into a life changing event for the gang, it also forever changes the Scooby Gangs various destinies.
Xander Harris rolled his eyes as Buffy was cornered by Principal Snyder about Halloween, he glanced at Willow who stood beside him and noted she was frowning at the man which for her meant she really disliked the guy. Not a surprise as he doubted there was one person in this school who did like Snyder. ‘How could anyone like the troll?’ he wondered. Moving closer he could hear Snyder berate Buffy as much as he could get away with and Xander was really impressed with Buffy’s restraint. Had it been him who was put down like that, well he doubted he’d have lasted long before planting his fist in Snyder’s face. Suddenly, just as Buffy took the pen from the troll, he had a bad feeling hitting him.
Snyder suddenly held up two more pens one for each of them. He heard Willow let out a growl of frustration, shrugging his shoulders he took the pen and signed the form.
“And I warn you all, no funny business,” Snyder spat at them. “These children will be your responsibility, anything happens to them and it is your heads that will roll for it,” he warned them all.
“Sir, its Halloween... what could possibly go wrong?” Buffy said in response before she winced as she felt the stares from Willow and Xander at her question. That wasn’t a good question to ask on the Hellmouth and she knew that. She just hoped the fates didn’t decide to punish her for that faux pass.
“You better hope nothing goes wrong Summers,” Snyder shot back with another glare. “I’ve managed to rope in a teacher or two as well. They’ll be keeping an overall watch on you all,” he told them before he turned and began to march away before turning back to them. “I’ll make sure they pay special attention to you three,” he told them with a sneer before turning and storming away.
“I really hate that guy,” Buffy muttered unable to help herself.
“You and everyone else in this school Buffy, and that includes the teachers and the caretakers and cleaners,” Xander told her. “But don’t worry one day the troll will get what is coming to him for all these evil things he does. Karma is a bitch... remember?” he assured her.
“I hope so,” Buffy responded carelessly before she turned and headed for the library, followed by the others.
Entering the library they found it occupied by Rupert Giles and Jenny Calendar. They all noted neither looked practically happy about something. The gang all took their seats, but before they could say anything, the doors to the library were flung open and the last member of their group stormed in. Cordelia Chase looked furious, which to Xander made her look all the more beautiful.
“One day I am going to run that damn troll over with my car,” Cordelia promised as she moved to sit down.
“Snyder got you too?” Jenny inquired with a raised eyebrow.
“Looks like he got us all,” Willow spat, still angry over the way Snyder acted towards them. “It’s like he gets high on being nasty to us,” she pointed out.
“Some people are like that Willow,” Giles told her with a sigh. “I just can’t believe he has roped me into this as well, as if I don’t have anything better to do with my time,” he growled.
“What? Like sitting at home with a cup of tea and reading a musty old book?” Jenny shot back instantly.
“Indeed,” Giles responded before he paused as he realized what Jenny had tricked him into saying.
“Why you cunning witch,” he muttered to which Jenny just smirked at him some more.
“Now no calling Lady J any names Giles,” Xander spoke up. “That isn’t nice. She is a queen with few peers in this hellhole,” he stated with a flirting look towards his computer teacher.
Jenny smiled back unable to help herself, she and Xander got on very well. Probably better than they should, but then she wasn’t really a teacher. That was just her cover while she kept a close eye on Angelus, who was now the souled vampire Angel. Not that she found that mattered much, he was still as dangerous in her mind as he always was, especially with how he seemed to be intent on seducing Buffy. And the most sickening thing was that the blond haired Slayer seemed to be falling for the souled vampire’s seduction, it was the most disgusting thing she had ever seen. That Giles was ignoring the danger of this was also frustrating as well as annoying. The red head Willow was completely out of her mind thinking it was some kind of Romeo and Juliet romance. She seemed to forget that Romeo and Juliet had shared a doomed romance, and that was exactly what Buffy was heading for and she would bring the rest of them down with her. Angelus was far more dangerous than they seemed to realize should he ever be freed. Xander at least understood the danger Angel represented, he had never let his guard down around him, although his caution and hatred for the vampire was seen as jealousy.
She knew from Xander himself that he had fallen for the blond haired slayer when she had first arrived, even asked her out for the Spring Fling dance, but was turned down as she had already fallen for Angel. Any lingering feelings he still had for her were removed when she lap danced him in the Bronze to make Angel jealous, before asking him a question which had hurt him badly. She had left him there in complete humiliation. From that moment on he had lost any attraction he had once held for Buffy. She didn’t understand how Buffy could chose a un-dead corpse over a living human being, worse was she was the Slayer which meant she was supposed to kill vampires, not date them.
Xander was now getting close to Cordelia, a fact that seemed to be bugging them both. Neither understood why they were now falling for one another. She couldn’t help but smirk as she thought of the old line of opposites attracting one another.
Unfortunately Xander also had a habit of flirting with her. He had an attachment to her that went beyond student-teacher trust. Worse she couldn’t stop herself from flirting back from time to time, she had always been a wild spirit in her teenage years and it seemed even with the important task assigned to her that hadn’t changed. She should back away from him, but found herself unable to do so. Xander was only eighteen, but older than the rest of the group by a full year, something to do with a mix up in his records, not that he minded much. She herself was really only twenty two, although to get into the school her records stated she was twenty five. She had been chosen to watch over Angelus as her rite of passage by her tribe. Age didn’t matter to the elders in such matters. Not that much of an age difference she couldn’t help to think. Glancing at Buffy and Willow whispering to each other she suddenly felt a chill go down her spine.
“Well I guess the only thing we can do now is go and get our bloody costumes,” Giles grumbled as he removed his glasses and started to polish them.
“Do we have to?” Xander shot back sarcastically.
“Yes, now let’s go before Snyder ropes us into anything else,” Giles shot back with a small glare. He found Xander annoying at the best of times however he also understood he was trying to keep things light for the girls. He used jokes and sarcasm to keep the atmosphere from getting to them all. He just happened to be Xander’s favorite target, with Buffy coming in a close second. Still sometimes he wished Xander would be a little more serious, but then he wished the same with his own slayer. Letting out a sigh he got up and moved for the doors as he put his glasses back on, looking back he noted the others were reluctantly following him.
(Ethan’s Costume Shop)
Ethan Rayne smirked as he watched the beginning faze of his plan taking shape. Thanks to the closing down of the nearby Party Town, due to fire damage, all of the children wanting costumes for Halloween were coming here instead, which meant a far higher number of them would be a part of his plan which of course meant more chaos for his tribute to Janus. Walking into his office leaving his two store hands on the till, he went through his notes for the night ahead. It was only luck that he glanced out of the open doorway and noted his old friend Rupert ‘Ripper’ Giles enter with a group of kids and another adult. Quickly getting out of the way of the door he took a deep breath as that was damn close.
He patted himself on the back at having the foresight to hiring some help for the shop. Had Giles seen him but once, his entire plan would have gone up in smoke before it had ever begun. Although he had to wonder why his old friend turned enemy had come into the shop with the teenagers? Had he had been shanghaied into dressing up as well? He knew from his contacts that old Ripper was now a watcher as his father had always wanted him to be. ‘Was it possible he was stationed here?’ he wondered. A smirk quickly grew on his face at the idea of catching Ripper and his charge in his net. It would ensure he would not get in the way of his plans. Still it would have been nice to know Ripper had been in this town, then he would have been better prepared for dealing with him should he have been found out.
Outside the office Giles and his friends went about looking for some good costumes to wear, each unaware of the fact they were about to be caught up in a very chaotic situation. Had he known his old friend Ethan was in town then Giles would have ensured to pay him a visit, to ensure he wasn’t up to anything as he knew while he had broken away from the dark path their gang had tred in their youth, Ethan had refused to clean up his act, but having kept an eye out as he entered the shop he hadn’t. There was no sign of his old friend even if the name on the shop sign had set him on edge at first. Xander broke off from the group with Cordelia and Jenny following him, neither of them wanted to be around for what they knew was Buffy’s plan to impress Angel with some kind of period dress if she could find one.
“So any idea what we are looking for Xander?” Cordelia inquired with an air of boredom in her tone. She was still annoyed Party Town had been closed. Whoever set the shop on fire better pray she never finds them she thought viscously.
“Something good at least Cor,” Xander shot back, not the least bit bothered by her tone as he was well used to it. And these days he found Cordelia’s attitude didn’t bother him as much as it once did.
As he looked around he quickly took note of a rack of costumes which he recognized anywhere. They were all replicas of either known comic superhero’s or known mutant heroes such as the X-Men. He quickly began to look through the collection. Jenny’s smirk indicated she liked the idea as well. Cordelia just rolled her eyes, but decided it was only for Halloween. So who really cared what she went as? Finally he found something he loved. It was a replica of one of the baddest X-Men on the planet. Logan, a.k.a Wolverine, was in his opinion one of the best Mutant heroes that lived and that such a cool person actually lived in this world was amazing. Next to it were two more costumes he just knew would fit Cordelia and Jenny perfectly if they agreed to wear them. They were replicas of Jean Grey a.k.a Phoenix and Besty Braddock a.k.a Psylocke.
“Here we go. I think for Jenny Phoenix would be the best fit and for Cordelia Psylocke,” Xander said as he handed over the costumes.
“Is this the best you can do?” Cordelia inquired.
“Cordy, Psylocke is a fully trained ninja and telepath with some other nifty powers she got when her body was switched,” Xander explained to her.
“Really?” Cordelia inquired to which Xander nodded in confirmation. “Cool,” she said as she looked the outfit over and had to admit she’d look stunning in it. Granted it was a little revealing, but still it would do.
“Phoenix huh?” Jenny inquired as she looked over the costume Xander had handed her.
She knew about the X-Men and knew that Phoenix was Jean Grey’s code name. She was also aware of the fact that Jean had a complicated relationship with Wolverine who surprise, surprise Xander had chosen for his own costume. No one knew if the two mutant heroes had ever crossed the line and actually gotten together, but it was well speculated that they had. Granted if she recalled right Jean Grey was currently dead, and wasn’t that a funny thing to think in this world. As the Phoenix, Jean had returned to life a few times before as her powers were beyond what most people were capable of imagining due to the cosmic nature of her powers. She smirked. Yes this was the perfect costume for her she decided. The supposed forbidden nature of the relationship between Logan and Jean, in comparison to her own with Xander just seemed so symbiotic.
“Jean Grey is a babe Miss Calendar, probably one of the all time favorite mutant heroes there is just because she is hot,” Xander told her, thinking he’d have to convince her to accept the costume. “And in case you haven’t noticed, so are you,” he told her with a teasing smirk. “Hell half the school fantasizes about you, from both sides of the fence,” he added, to which Cordelia rolled her eyes although she had to admit Xander was right in that statement.
Miss Calendar was the most liked teacher in the whole school, even her own groupies liked her. And it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see how the majority of the males lusted after her. Even less was the way the few females lusted after her. Hell even she liked Miss Calendar, she was easy going and very helpful during class. She wasn’t blind to Xander’s own interest in the woman, but what was a surprise was that Miss Calendar seemed to return that interest, even if she was trying to fight it. A teacher wasn’t supposed to get close to her students, that was a given, but Miss Calendar seemed to be getting closer and closer to that line in Cordelia’s eyes.
Her own growing feelings for Xander were still a shock to her. She knew when things had changed between them. It had been when he had saved her life by jumping through a wall of fire for her, saving her from being mutilated and turned into spare parts for Eric and Chris Epps Frankenstein bride. The question was, what the hell was she to do if and possibly when Jenny Calendar crossed the line and gave in to her feeling for Xander.
Jenny couldn’t help a genuine smile from gracing her lips at Xander’s declaration; it sent a rather large boost to her ego to know she was so well liked for her looks. “Does that include you Xander?” she inquired unable to help herself.
Xander went red in the face as her question actually filtered into his brain. He quickly turned away mumbling something Jenny didn’t hear, but she could take a good guess. Yes he did fantasies about her, her smile grew even more as she fought to stop it forming. Her eyes strayed to where Cordelia was standing with a confused yet speculative look on her face, almost blushing in embarrassment at what she had just done. Asking that question the way she had could only be interpreted one way and she had to be way more careful.
Across from them Buffy was still looking for a period dress, but so far she had failed to do so. Finally she gave up and looked for anything that would at least be interesting. She noted Willow was looking at a costume that looked familiar. Taking a closer look she noted it was from a rack of costumes from the Harry Potter films and books.
“Who’re you planning on going as Wills?” Buffy inquired, hoping it might give her some ideas on her own costume.
“Nymphadora Tonks, my all-time favorite character from the books or films,” Willow responded with a smile. “I’d so love to be able to shape shift my body,” she admitted with a sigh.
Buffy didn’t really know what to say to that. Was Willow admitting she didn’t like her own body or was she just ashamed of it? Turning away she went back to looking around, missing Giles finding a costume much to his own liking. He smirked as he took in the black leather jacket and jeans combo. It reminded him very much of the sort of things he used to wear as a youth. The fingerless gloves were the icing on the cake as far as he was concerned; the outfit was from the Kurt Russell movie ‘Escape from New York’. The character was called Snake Plisskin, one of his all-time favorites and guilty pleasures film wise. The eye patch would be a little annoying, but it was for only one night. The gun belt with two replica guns was the final item. ‘A nice addition,’ he thought.
Buffy continued to look around as the others moved to the tills, she decided to just grab something that would able her to fight any vampires that might show up, even if Giles had assured her it would be a slow night. Looking around she finally found something that looked to be what she was looking for. It was a stack of costumes from a bunch of films. This one had a tag on it that said it was from the film Blade 3. It was the costume of Whistler’s daughter Abigail. The bow she had used in the film was there as well. Grinning she grabbed it and the costume and headed for the till as well.
The group all paid for their chosen costumes and then headed out. None of them looked back. If they had they would have seen Ethan exit the office with a huge grin on his face as he watched them leave.
‘This is going to be a wonderful night,’ Ethan thought to himself as he watched Ripper and his friends leave.
2. Chapter 2
(Sunnydale High, night time)
Xander smirked as he entered the school wondering just how Cordelia and Miss Calendar would look in their costumes. Oh he would be remembering this night for a long time he thought. Entering the hall he came to a dead stop as he noted all the little kids running around, damn Snyder for putting the responsibility of looking after the kids on them all. Hell this was Sunnydale, home of the Hellmouth which meant anything could happen. Not that to his knowledge the little troll knew that. Shrugging his shoulders he went to find the others.
He came to a dead stop as he found Cordelia, fully kitted out in her Psylocke outfit. He had to do all he could not to drool. The purple latex outfit clung to Cordelia in all the right places. The sword strapped to her back along with two sai’s strapped to her legs completed the costume. He couldn’t help himself and let out a whistle of appreciation. Cordelia knew before she turned around who had just whistled at her, she turned to find Xander behind her with his eyes glued on her. She couldn’t help a smirk gracing her features as she held his attention. She had to admit the latex costume fit her perfectly and it had gained a lot of attention from the moment she had entered the school.
“Like it?” she inquired with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh hell yeah,” Xander found himself saying with a quick nod, making Cordelia’s smile widen.
“I have to say Cordelia that outfit really suits you,” Jenny Calendar’s voice came from behind them, causing them both to turn to see their computer teacher.
Jenny stood behind them in the green Phoenix outfit with the gold belt around her waist. The outfit seemed to be painted onto her. Xander’s eyes glanced up and down before locking on her face, the grin she wore told him she knew he was checking her out. Cordelia just shook her head as the two began to flirt again. It seemed neither of them could fully control themselves around each other. She glanced around and was at least relieved Snyder was nowhere in sight.
“You look amazing Lady J,” Xander said honestly. “I think even Jean Grey would be jealous of you in her outfit,” he added with a teasing wink which made Jenny laugh in response.
“Oh my god. Cordelia, why are you dressed like a slut?” Harmony’s annoyingly grating voice made them all turn around again to find her and the majority of the Cordelia’s group behind them.
Cordelia narrowed her eyes as she took in Harmony’s own costume which seemed to be just a bikini and bottoms that barely covered her supposed friend.
“Look who is talking blondie,” Xander spat before Cordelia could say anything. “You look like a god damn street walker in that thing and you are showing far more skin than Cordelia,” he added with a frown before looking away.
Harmony didn’t seem to know how to react to being on the receiving end of Xander’s tirade, especially in front of a crowd including one of their teachers.
“Go away Harmony, before I get really mad for that little crack and decide to do something about it,” Cordelia warned her with a glacial glare for good measure.
Harmony hesitated for a few seconds before she spun and stalked away. Angered that the school loser, in her view, had gotten one up on her. She hated that damn dork. She hated even more that Cordelia seemed to be getting friendly with him and his group of friends. The others all turned and followed the blond. Only one of them, Aura, paused and glanced at Cordelia in an apprising look before she left as well.
“Why do you put up with them?” Jenny inquired with a confused look.
“They serve their purpose,” Cordelia answered with a sigh. “Although of late my patience with them is wearing very thin,” she admitted.
“Maybe it’s time you got rid of them,” Xander suggested as he took note of Buffy, Willow and Giles walking towards them.
Cordelia only glanced at him before the other three reached them.
“So are we all ready for this exciting adventure?” Buffy asked in the most sarcastic tone she could manage.
“Cut the sarcasm Summers,” Snyder said, having come up behind her before anyone could warn her. “I warn you all now there better be no problems with any of the kids. I don’t want the headache if you screw this up,” he spat. “Mr. Giles, Miss Calendar I am relying on you to ensure this night goes smoothly or else you will be in serious trouble,” he said, glancing at the two adults. “Now grab a group of kids and get gone, and make sure they have a good time or else you will serve detention for every day till the semester is up,” he warned them before he turned and left.
“One day that troll is going to pick on the wrong person and is going to get squashed like the bug he is,” Willow muttered with a glare at the man’s back.
“Or he is going to end up as dinner for a demon,” Giles mused aloud causing the others to look at him in surprise at that.
“Hell Giles, if some demon did eat him then it would probably die of food poisoning,” Xander shot back with a grin before the group separated and began to collect their group of kids who all looked eager to start trick or treating.
‘He’s got a point,’ Giles mused as he collected his own group of eager children.
(Ethan Costume Shop)
Ethan glanced at his watch and noted it was time to begin. Kneeling down in front of a bust of the god Janus he began to recite his spell for tonight’s jinks. It was a complicated bit of magic, and it would leave him feeling quite drained for a while, but as he now knew that Ripper would be caught up in the whole thing he didn’t have to worry about being found out.
‘Oh this is going to be fun,’ he thought as he continued to chant as the magic began to build up around the bust of Janus.
He began to sweat as the chant reached its apex, the drain of the spell on so many costumes was taking far more of toll than he had expected. It was a good thing that Ripper would be one of those transformed, or he would be in for a very rough night once Ripper located him. Finally he completed his spell and almost fell over as the magic shot into the bust, which first glowed in multiple colors and then the magic shot out of the bust and into the night to find its chosen targets. Ethan finally collapsed to the ground breathing hard.
“Janus may you enjoy my tribute to you this night,” he said between breaths. “I am as always your most faithful disciple,” he added before he passed out.
Only an hour had passed since Xander and the others had departed for the night ahead. So far the children had been having a wonderful time as they bagged loads of chocolate and other sweets which they could hardly wait to eat. Most of the adult supervision couldn’t say the same, trying to keep the kids in line wasn’t easy. But as the second hour began all of the people who had bought a costume from Ethan’s collapsed and were screaming as the magic from Ethan’s spell struck them. The wind picked up as the magic did its work.
Janus, in his spiritual realm, watched with amusement as his servant worked his spell. The ancient god could hardly wait to see what would become of this. He granted a bit more power to his chosen warlock so that the spell would have a wider effect. After that he sat back to watch as the spell completed its work.
Xander’s body jerked as he came back to himself and slowly climbed to his feet. His nose twitched as he sensed things he had a deep hatred for, causing him to growl. Vampires and other demonic beasts infested wherever the hell he was. Ever since Dracula tried to turn Ororo into his new queen he had a deep hatred for vampires. It had only been increased when one of Dracula’s spawn had turned Jubilee, a girl he considered almost a daughter. That spawn was dead at the hands of Dracula himself, an alliance he had hated with every fiber of his being. The fact he had been turned himself for a short while angered him all the more. That Scott hadn’t told him the full plan hadn’t gone down well. In the end his healing factor, once it had been reactivated, had cured him of being a vampire much to his relief. Jubilee was another problem and he hoped they could find a cure for her one day.
Turning quickly as a scent he recognized filtered in he quickly popped his claws and took off, almost unable to believe he was sensing Jean Grey.
Jean Grey let out a moan as she came too before a frown marred her features as she quickly realized that she was once again flesh and blood, that hadn’t been the case only moments ago. She had been in the White Room learning to harness her powers as Phoenix from the Phoenix Master. Something strange was going on here. Casting her mind out she quickly locked onto a very familiar and welcome presence. Logan was close by and even now bearing down on her. That caused her to smile. He must have caught her scent, but there was something just a little off and not only with Logan. Shrugging she continued to reach out with her mind before she locked onto another presence she knew, Besty was also close by and just now waking up. After a quick telepathic conversation and directions to where she was she withdrew, frowning as she realized she had sensed the same difference with Betsy as well.
‘What was going on here?’ she wondered.
Besty Braddock was at least relieved she wasn’t alone in this sudden nightmare. Jean and Logan were at least close by, but she had sensed the concern flowing from Jean about how they all got here. Especially as Jean had been dead for some time, granted her red headed friend had been returned to life a few times before so wasn’t it possible this was one of those times again? Glancing around as she took note of the supernatural elements that seemed to be running loose, she pulled her sword from her back and headed in Jean’s direction. Hopefully they could sort all this out later, once they were all safe, she kept a close eye for any serious trouble.
Snake Plisskin let out a frustrated growl as he looked around. He didn’t recognize where in the hell he was. Last thing he knew he was in New York trying to rescue the President of the United States before he died from some poison capsules that jerk Haulk had injected into him so he would do as they asked. It was on his second glance he noted that things were even more screwed up than before. He was seeing things that didn’t exist at least not to his knowledge. He quickly pulled his pistols from his holster and then with a grunt headed off to see if he could find some answers, his one eye were glued on his surroundings.
Nymphadora Tonks opened her eyes and blinked a few times before wondering why she was still alive. The last thing she knew was her insane aunt bearing down on her after disarming her during the Battle of Hogwarts. She glanced around and while the chaotic nature of the place she was in was familiar this, she knew by heart, wasn’t Hogwarts or even anywhere in Britain. Getting up she was at least relieved to find she was armed with her wand. Now all she had to do was find out where she was and what the hell was going on here. Moving off, she kept a tight grip on her wand as her hair changed from red to her usual pink.
Abigail Whistler blinked wearily as she came round, looking around she noted she was on her own outside somewhere. Getting up she grabbed her bow, relieved she was at least armed. Looking around she felt a chill go down her spine as she took in the chaos going on around her. Where the hell were Blade and Hannibal? Last she recalled they had been going to see what they suspected was a vampire familiar Edward Vance. Now it was night time when before it had been broad daylight. She needed information on where she was and how she got here. Moving off she hoped that Blade and Hannibal were here as well. Otherwise she may be in deep trouble.
Rachel Grey was seated in one of the many sofas in the mansion’s rather large TV and games room. She was currently watching the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban alongside Jubilee, Kurt, Kitty, Rahne and Rogue. They had decided to try and help Jubilee feel more comfortable with them. Her transformation into a vampire had been a very troublesome affair and she knew Jubilee felt more and more like an outcast than ever before, no matter what they tried. Even Logan was having a hard time reaching the girl these days. Hopefully this little get together would have some effect.
“This is actually probably one of the best films of the whole series,” Kurt said as he leaned back in the chair beside Kitty who curled up against his side.
The two of them were best friends and had been almost from the time they had met. Kitty had only had a brief aversion to his furry demonic appearance. Some of their fellow X-Men believed there was more to their relationship, but so far neither one had the nerve to admit their more than friendly feelings to one another.
“I have to agree, the introduction of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin as well as Pettigrew made things much more fun,” Rahne agreed with a nod of her head. “Although I think it would have been better had they done the scene closer to what happened in the book,” she admitted.
“Yeah I totally agree,” Kitty put in while doing her best to let on how much she enjoyed curling up with Kurt. “They cut so much of the important back story out of it. I thought it took quite a bit away from the story,” she added.
“I think I agree,” Jubilee said speaking for one of the few brief times she’d felt like speaking. She knew this little get together was her friend’s idea on trying to get her to feel like she was still a part of their group and a part of her loved them for the effort. The other half found it a struggle to accept that they had done this out of the goodness of their hearts, and not to relieve their own guilt at what had befallen her. Being turned into a vampire had to be the worst struggle she’d ever had to go through, more and more she felt any hope for a cure being found fading. But Logan and the others refused to give up on her, hell after the whole thing had gone down a certain vampire hunter had wanted to kill her outright, but Logan had stopped him cold. Scott had refused to allow any harm to come to her, he and the others stating that they looked after their own.
“Yeah me too,” Rachel responded with a nod of her head. “Although I like Goblet of Fire just as much,” she began to say before she went silent as she felt a telepathic scan far off to the south.
Not only was the scan beyond anything she had felt before, at least recently, she knew the telepathic signature by heart. It was her mother Jean Grey, but that was impossible as she was dead. A sudden deep hope filled her at the idea that her mother had come back once more, but why all the way over in California? Getting up she began to head for the nearby com unit.
“Rachel, what’s the matter?” Kurt inquired.
“X-Men, assemble in the games room now,” Rachel shouted into the com, wanting to get going as soon as possible.
“Rach, what’s going on?” Kitty asked, frowning at her friend’s actions and the fact she had ignored Kurt’s original question.
“Just a minute Kitty, the others will be here soon,” Rachel responded absently and she was right as the door opened and the rest of the present X-Men entered.
“What’s going on Rachel, why the sudden call?” Scott Summers inquired with a curious look.
“Where’s Logan and Besty?” Kurt inquired as he noted the two absent members.
Rachel reached out with her senses and quickly located the two, but quickly frowned as she took note their minds seemed to be missing. ‘What the hell?’ she thought.
“Something is wrong, they are in their rooms completely comatose because of the fact that their minds are missing,” Rachel answered, still unsure how it had happened.
Emma Frost frowned and did her own scan of the two missing members. Like Rachel had said she found their minds were completely absent from their bodies.
“She’s right Scott, their minds are gone,” Emma said to her lover.
“How is that possible?” Beast a.k.a Henry McCoy inquired with interest as well as worry. “And why those two in particular?” he added.
“Maybe it has some connection to why I called you,” Rachel mused thoughtfully.
“Why did you call us all here?” Ororo asked the daughter of her best friend.
“I just picked up a telepathic trace from Mom, she’s back on the earth plain,” Rachel informed them, unable to keep a smile from her face. “Maybe somehow she called Logan and Betsy and somehow pulled their minds elsewhere by accident,” she suggested.
Scott frowned at his daughter’s statement. If Jean was back then it meant trouble for the X-Men. He missed his ex-wife, he wouldn’t deny that, but he had moved on and was now with Emma and had been for over a year and a half. Jean being back was going to cause problems for him and for Emma, he just knew it, but looking at Rachel he knew she wanted to go and find her mother.
“Beast, you stay here and look after Logan and Betsy’s bodies, Rahne and Jubilee you stay too,” Scott finally ordered after a few moments thought. “The rest of you suit up and meet at the blackbird, we are going to check this out,” he added.
“Rachel, do you know where Jean is?” Emma inquired, doing her best not to show how much she disliked this sudden turn of events.
“California, a small town called Sunnydale,” Rachel responded as she turned and headed out to get ready with the others all following.
3. Chapter 3
Janus watched events as they took form and chuckled as he realized this night was going to be far more entertaining than he had first thought. Far more was going to happen here than anyone could have guessed. Ethan’s plan had the potential to change long term plans put in place by the Powers that Be, thinking on that for a few minutes he let out a long drawn out laugh at the mere thought of it. Those stuffy egotistical fools were in for an eye opening night, their plans were doomed and they had no idea what was coming.
(Sunnydale, industrial area)
Spike was pacing up and down as he tried to think of something to do, Halloween was always such a boring time for his kind. And with Sunnydale been such a small town even though it was the home of the Hellmouth, well it left him very little to occupy his time. A sudden gasp from behind made him turn to face his lover, the look on her face made him very curious.
“What is it ducks?” Spike inquired as he moved and knelt at her side.
“Something has happened, the stars sing of changes,” Drusilla responded in her usual insane tone. “The Slayer is vulnerable, blood runs in the street,” she added before going back to playing with her dolls.
“Really, the Slayer vulnerable is she now?” Spike mused as he stood knowing he’d get no more out of his insane lover. “Well isn’t that something?” he mused. “You gather some of the others, looks like Halloween has just got more interesting,” he ordered pointing at a random lackey who he didn’t even recall the name of.
“But we never go out on Halloween,” the lackey argued forgetting his place.
Spike let out a growl at been argued with and quickly nailed the lackey with a couple of heavy punches, before kicking him in the head to send him to the floor.
“Don’t question me Mate,” Spike told him with a growl. “Just do as you are told or I’ll stake you myself,” he warned him. “Got it?” he asked to which the lackey quickly nodded before taking off to do as he was told.
“Lackeys today... I tell you...,” Spike muttered to himself as he lit up a cigarette and waited for the lackey to return.
Logan charged the rather large demon that had gotten in his way as he headed for Jean’s location. The annoying thing was that this thing had a rather tough hide. Letting out a growl he tried once again to puncture the skin, but again even his adamantium claws failed to make too much of a dent and that was a surprise. He didn’t come across much that his claws couldn’t hack to pieces, rolling away as the thing tried to crush him with its giant fists the thing suddenly lurched sideways before collapsing.
“What the fuck?” he muttered before a sent quickly gained his attention right behind him.
“Language Logan,” Jean’s voice came from almost right behind him making him shiver somewhat as his body responded to her presence.
“Red,” he said in greeting as he turned only to come to a dead halt as he took in the woman behind him. “Jeannie?” he asked in confusion.
“It is me Logan, but as I feared something very wrong is going on,” Jean told him as she took him in a quick hug. The move surprised Logan, but he quickly returned it as his senses picked up Jean’s unique sent even if he was somewhat different. She took in the young man in front of her who she could sense was her friend and yet wasn’t. “That is not your body Logan, just as this isn’t mine,” she explained as she started to step away but Logan stopped her. She glanced at him and quickly realized what he was going to do. She put up no fight as he pulled her down and gave a brief but passionate kiss, she returned the passion coming from her friend but the kiss was over all too soon as Logan pulled away.
“It’s good to have you home Jean,” Logan told her gently before he went over what she had told him. “Shit, no wonder I feel taller and off center,” he cursed in response as all the odd things he had been feeling fell into place. “How the hell did I get in this body, last thing I remember was reading a book in my room back at the mansion,” he told her.
“I don’t know, but whatever has happened was powerful enough to pull you and Betsy out of your bodies and into total strangers while at the same time pull me from the White Room and into a flesh and blood body,” Jean answered just as frustrated as she could sense he was, her body still tingled from the kiss, but for now they had other things to focus on.
“Betsy’s here as well?” Logan inquired as he moved closer to her.
“Yes, in fact she is just now arriving,” Jean said in reply as she nodded behind him making him turn to see another unknown woman dressed as Psylocke come running up.
“Wait a minute Red, if these are not our bodies then why the hell are they dressed like us?” Logan inquired with a frown.
“It’s Halloween Logan. These people have replicas of our costumes,” Betsy was the one who answered as she ran up and without waiting gave Jean a quick hug of welcome. “As I made my way here I passed some people running through the chaos, but completely unaffected by whatever it is that has happened,” she told them. “I did a quick scan of their mind, I almost wish I hadn’t,” she admitted. “To think people have nothing better to do than dress up as us, although I guess we can be flattered we are not hated by all the normal humans that they want to dress as us,” she mused, causing Logan to snort in agreement.
“Still the question remains, what is behind this?” Jean told them before a nearby scream made them all spin and race of in its direction.
Snake wasn’t a man who usually cared when someone was in trouble, but for some reason beyond him, he found himself running towards a scream. So far he’d found no answers as to why he was here, but what he did know was this place was completely wacko. As he ran he was joined by a short blond holding a crossbow running in the same direction, he took note of the seriousness of her expression as she ran. Clearly she wanted to help whoever it was who had screamed, still he ran on wondering why he cared so much.
From another direction Tonks ran for all she was worth to help whoever it was in danger, hoping against hope that some of her fellow Order members would arrive on the scene. This place she found herself in was seriously screwy, with things running loose that either were spawned from the darkest pits of hell or out of a damn fictional world. She was weary of using her wand except when one of the beasts like things attacked her. She just wished she knew how the hell she got here or where here was.
All of them converged on a group of children and adults surrounded by demons and a few stray vampires. Logan took one look at the situation and charged in as he popped his claws ignoring the shout from Jean. Betsy pulled her sai’s and quickly moved to back up Logan, all the while wondering why this particular group seemed unaffected by whatever was going on here.
Snake took in the situation before pulling his guns and opening fire on the nearest hell beast, Abigail loaded her crossbow and quickly opened fire on the vampires with hatred in her eyes. Jean couldn’t fault her friend knowing protecting the children was his prime motivation right now, quickly activating her own powers she rushed into the fight herself. Tonks watched the various people rush in to help the surrounded adults and children wondering who they were, before deciding it could wait until these things were dealt with.
Rachel sat in her chair as patiently as she could, the blackbird was fast but for right now it wasn’t near fast enough for her. If it was really her mother out there then she had to find her, maybe there was a reason why she had returned to a body. Question was would she like the answer to that question? Being a Phoenix host wasn’t an easy thing to bear. She knew this as she was one herself, but there would never be a more fully integrated host of that great power than Jean herself as the original host. She knew there were a lot of secrets about her mother’s destiny as Phoenix, it was one of the reasons she was currently not among the living or at least hadn’t been among the living.
“Are you okay Rachel?” Kurt’s quiet voice from behind her made her spin in her chair to see the concerned look on her friend’s face.
“I will be when and if we find mom,” Rachel answered. “I’ve missed her,” she admitted.
“We all have Rachel, but I know none of us could miss her as much as you,” Kurt told her, wanting to do what he could to comfort his friend. “I know it’s not been easy watching Scott with Emma, but he did say Jean gave him her blessing through her powers before she passed on that last time,” he reminded her. “If she is back then I doubt it is to take him back from Emma, maybe there is a new reason for her to be back,” he suggested.
Rachel couldn’t repress a pained sigh at Kurt’s words because she knew they were true. Jean had given Scott her blessing to move on. Their relationship before she had died had been on the way to ending, far too much had changed for them to have stayed together had she lived. ‘But then if not for Scott, then why had her mother returned or for whom?’ she wondered.
“We’ll be in California within an hour at subsonic speed,” Scott announced from the cockpit. “Let’s just hope this isn’t a waste of a trip,” he couldn’t help mutter still unsure of his daughter’s certainty that Jean had returned.
“Have you forgotten Scott that Logan and Betsy are back at the mansion with no minds to speak of?” Ororo spoke up from beside him in the co-pilot chair. “Something has happened, and I doubt Rachel would mistake her mother’s telepathic signature for someone else,” she argued.
“It could be Madelyne,” Scott suggested even as he did his best to ignore the memories that name stirred in him.
“Like hell I’d mistake her for mom,” Rachel spat having heard what her father had suggested and taking great offense at it. Scott winced at her tone knowing he had upset her.
“It was just a thought Rachel,” he defended himself.
“It was a bad one,” Rachel shot back with a glare. “I know mom’s signature anywhere and it is her,” she stated before folding her arms and turning away from him.
Scott let out a sigh as he glanced at Emma who gave him a sympathetic glance, ever since Jean had passed on his relationship with his daughter had been strained. His relationship with Emma hadn’t helped matters, but of late he had begun to make some headway in repairing things between them. Now he feared he might have set them back. ‘Was he really so concerned that Rachel was right and it was Jean she was sensing?” he asked himself.
Logan growled as he carved through the vampire who he had attacked, he felt an instinctive rage go through him as he destroyed the demonic creature. He really hated vampires and demons alike and he quickly moved onto the next, but it was dusted before he could reach it. Turning he spotted a short blond with a crossbow already moving to target another of the vampires. He frowned wondering what she was packing in the arrow before his musing was cut off as one of the demons ploughed into him.
Snake continued to fire into the creatures, but to his annoyance the bullets just bounced off. ‘What the hell were these things?’ he thought.
“Here use this,” the short blond beside him said as she pulled her sidearm from her holster and handed it to him.
Putting his own pistols back into their holster, he took the weapon she offered and with a careful eye looked it over. It was unlike any gun he had seen before, still if it did the job. He quickly took aim and opened fire. A smirk graced his features as one of the things vanished into dust. ‘Now that was more like it,’ Snake thought.
Abigail just nodded as the man used her weapon already loaded with the vamp killer ammo. Clearly the man knew how to handle weapons of most kinds even if he hadn’t handled them before. Quickly loading another arrow she let loose once more, however her target didn’t dust as it she realized it was no vampire. However before she could decide what to do a black haired woman who seemed to be on fire seemed to fly at the thing, and somehow fried it alive. The other black haired woman next to her dived at another armed with Japanese sai’s. However what blew her mind was the purple glow that surrounded her hands and weapons. ‘What the fuck is going on?’ she asked herself.
Tonks took cover and began to throw some fire and blasting curses at the things she was seeing. She was at least relieved to see the that fire had some effect as two of things instantly set alight and turned to dust.
“Shit… vampires,” she muttered in realization before she went to back to casting her spells.
Logan ducked under another swing of the demon that had charged him. Snarling he dug his claws into its hide and wrenched them upwards. The demon screamed in agony unable to believe this human had managed to hurt it so badly. Before it could react an arrow smashed into its right eye causing it even more pain. This gave Logan time to pull his claws out and jumping upwards slam them into the thing again. The demon stumbled backwards as Logan all but cut its head off. Betsy used her powered sai’s to rip the heart out of one of the last demons still alive, while beside her Jean used her powers to incinerate the last vampire, clearing the way for the cornered group of children and adults to run away, some of them still screaming.
“You’re welcome,” Logan sarcastically shouted after them as he watched the last demon turn and flee.
Jean just smiled knowing Logan wasn’t that miffed they hadn’t been thanked for their help. She knew he understood they were scared of what had almost happened to them and more importantly to their children. If it was one thing she knew Logan understood, it was protecting children. It was one of the things that had drawn her to him. He looked after the kids at the mansion as much as he could, even though he tried to project an image of indifference. Jubilee was the closest of the children to him, the mall obsessed girl refusing to be intimidated by Logan’s gruffness. She had even once followed him to Japan to help when Magneto had ripped his adamantium skeleton from his body, just to ensure he was okay and that he would return. That he was then captured by Weapon X and had his skeleton once again bonded to adamantium in their sick experiments, well Logan had been pushed to the edge of sanity.
“Nice gun,” Snake said as he handed it back to the short blond as they moved to greet the other fighters. “Special ammo?” he inquired.
“Yes actually,” Abigail responded surprised he had caught on so fast. “Took some time to find the right mixture, but it does the job,” she told him to which he nodded.
“So does anyone know what is going on here?” Tonks inquired, relieved the battle was over for now at least.
“No, we all just found ourselves here,” Jean answered as she pushed some hair out of her eyes. “Something and I don’t know what has pulled us all here and into the bodies of complete strangers,” she told them.
“Say that again,” Snake shot back in surprise. Sure he had misheard her.
“The bodies we are in are not ours. Somehow our spirits or minds have been pulled into these strangers who have dressed like us for Halloween,” Jean explained as best she could. “Worse is that this town seems to be infested with demonic and vampiric creatures, some of whom I believe may be children who have ended up transformed due to the costumes they wore,” she told them, not surprised to see a few surprised or doubtful faces looking back at her.
“That has to be the craziest thing I have ever heard,” Snake shot back with a shake of his head. “Although I guess it would explain those things been able to shrug off normal bullets, might also explain why I feel so different,” he mused. ‘Might also explain why I ran to help these people,’ he thought to himself.
“I admit that does sound kind of far-fetched,” Abigail said. “I know vampires exist so demons can’t be far off, but the idea of this not being my body…,” she trailed off with a frown.
“Shit happens all the time, live with it,” Logan told her, not doubting Jean for a minute. “If she says these aren’t our bodies then believe it, what we have to find out is what caused all this to happen,” he stated. “Because whatever did this had to have tremendous power to do it, until we find the source we are stuck here,” he added.
Jean and Betsy nodded in agreement with their friend. Snake decided they had to have a point and if he wanted to get back to his own body then finding whatever caused him to be here was the best way back. Tonks just nodded, deciding these people at least seemed to have answers even if those answers sounded insane. Abigail however was still unsure whether to believe them or not. She was also trying to ignore the differences she had been feeling since waking up here.
“Any suggestions on how we find out the cause of all this?” Tonks asked waving her hand around them.
“Not at the moment. I’ve been trying to contact the mind of my host, but so far with no luck,” Jean responded with a shake of her head causing the three non-mutants to stare at her in confusion at her statement. “Maybe we should consider looking for the costume shop that our hosts brought their clothes from? It seems the only thing that is connected to everyone affected right now,” she suggested.
“So find the shop and whoever sold them the costumes,” Abigail said. “Then what?” she asked.
“Then we question the owner, girl. What else?” Logan shot back with a smirk. “I suggest we split up, three and three,” he added.
“Er…before we do that how about we introduce ourselves?” Tonks said, deciding the plan the two put forward was something at least. “I like knowing who I’m working with,” she added at their looks.
“I’m Logan, that’s Jean and she is Betsy,” Logan said, seeing the girl’s point.
“I’m Tonks,” Tonks said, knowing there was no way in hell she was telling them her first name. She had enough jokes aimed at her for it, and something told her the guy named Logan would only add more.
“Abigail Whistler,” Abigail spoke up, deciding for now to do as suggested. She knew she needed answers, and if they were right even though it made her shiver to think about then this was at least a way to find the cause.
“Snake Plisskin,” Snake told them as he checked his weapons and reloaded. “But call me Snake,” he added.
Logan frowned as he recognized two of the names given from a film and book. Damn this was turning out to be one of the weirdest things he had ever encountered. He glanced at Jean and noted she shared his thoughts on this. He just hoped once they got this straightened out that Jean didn’t just vanish back to that White Room she mentioned. Jean heard Logan’s last thought and looked away. She didn’t know what would happen once they found the cause of all this. She knew she needed to train and fully harness her powers in the White Room, but now she was back on Earth and beside Logan once more she knew she didn’t want to leave him again. She knew Scott had moved on to Emma with her blessing, their marriage having finally ended just before she died. She was free now to finally see if she and Logan could make it as a couple and to finally give into the desires she had long fought against for the good of her marriage. If she did find herself back in the White Room with the Phoenix Master then maybe she would have a long talk with him. This event changed things, at least in her mind.
“So we split up and look for this shop, question the guy or woman who owns it and then what?” Abigail asked.
“Hope he or she has the answers we need to break whatever it is that is going on here,” Betsy replied. “For now it is the only option we have,” she added. “I suggest you guys go that way and we’ll go the other,” she suggested.
“How will we stay in contact?” Tonks inquired, not sure about the splitting up part but also seeing the need for it.
“Don’t worry about it, we will call you if we need to,” Jean said with a smile before she turned and began to walk away with Logan and Betsy following.
“What do you think she meant by that?” Abigail wondered with a frown.
“We’ll find out I’m sure,” Snake told her before he turned and headed in the opposite direction. “Now come on, I want answers and someone to beat the living shit out of for dragging me here,” he shouted over his shoulder. Tonks and Abigail shared a quick glance before shrugging and following.
Janus was vastly amused by the events so far and the panic it was already causing with the Powers that Be, they had taken note of the disruption of their plans far quicker than he had expected. Now they were trying to stop the spread of that disruption, but he knew nothing they did was going to stop it. Chaos was uncontrollable. It couldn’t be stopped once set in motion. Perhaps he thought this particular disruption was a good thing, he had long thought the plans of the Powers were insane. The Powers were full of themselves and cared little for their champions. Maybe a little chaos would prove to be a good thing. Smirking he settled back to watch as events continued to play out.
4. Chapter 4
(Ethan’s Costume Shop)
Ethan sat in a comfy sofa in his office as he recuperated from his spell casting. He had been drained far more than he had expected. He had also been unconscious for longer than he had planned and had missed some of the fun. In front of him a ball of energy floated showing him the scenes of what was going on outside his shop. He couldn’t help but smile as he watched Ripper’s possessed form fight against some of the demons and vampires stupid enough to come out at Halloween, which was usually a slow night for them. This was turning out to be more fun than he had expected. He just wished he could hear what the group, Ripper’s possessed form was a part of, were saying. But this particular spell didn’t come with audio, and it was the best seeing spell he knew.
‘I wonder what Ripper would think if he could see himself right now?’ Ethan wondered as he sipped on a glass of water.
As he leaned back and watched the group split up he let out a curse, by splitting up it made it much harder for him to track them. Keeping an eye on this particular group was important to him, especially the one with Ripper in it.
Spike smirked as he drained the woman he had caught running from the chaos going on in town, his hand straying downwards to get a feel of her body while he could. The scream of fear and pain she had let out was music to his ears, he just wished Dru could have come out to hunt with him like in the old days. But she was still far too weak after that mob in Prague had almost killed her. One day he would find a way to heal her back to full strength. Deciding not to turn the woman as he found her quite thin and lacking in the chest department, he preferred his female turnings to have something to look at and feel. The woman let out a last feeble moan as her eyes rolled up in her head before dying. Spike drained the last bit of blood he could from her before dropping her lifeless body to the ground.
Turning to the group of vampires who had come out with him and had been watching him enviously as he fed “Ain’t this just neat?” he asked with a smirk feeling quite full now. But somewhere out here was a Slayer, who according to Dru was vulnerable, and he intended to find her and drain her dry just as he had two previous Slayers.
“Do we get to feed boss?” one of the lackeys inquired, having wanted to feed on the woman himself, but he knew better than to ever challenge Spike over a meal.
“I’m sure there are some other easy prey out here you and the others can feast on, but listen up all of you, not one of you touches the Slayer when we find her,” Spike responded, quickly glaring at them all. “If even one of you touches her or attempts a quick feed, then I’m going to ensure you all suffer before I stake your undead asses,” he warned them. “Got it?” he asked with a growl and almost ruined it by smirking as they all nodded in agreement with fear in their eyes.
Elsewhere Logan led Jean and Betsy through the chaotic streets, so far they’d not run into any more trouble. Betsy was keeping a telepathic eye on the other group, but they also hadn’t run into any more trouble either. Jean found herself slowly getting used to being back in a body, she realized she had missed it a lot. Especially being with her friend Logan was something she had missed even more, that drew her mind to Scott and more importantly their daughter Rachel. She was sure Rachel had been missing her since she had passed on. Letting out a sigh she hoped things hadn’t been too bad for her daughter.
“You okay Red?” Logan’s concerned voice inquired from beside her, almost making her jump as she hadn’t been aware of his movements having been off in her own thoughts.
“I was just thinking about how Rachel is doing since my passing,” Jean admitted.
“She’s missed you a lot,” Logan told her which wasn’t surprising. “Things between her and Scooter have been strained, especially with how quickly he took up with Frost after you died, no matter that you gave him your blessing,” he continued as he paused as a stray sent caught him as they moved down a row of houses. “I see her point, he could have waited a little longer considering everything,” he admitted.
Jean took that in and could see how Rachel would have taken it, maybe waiting a little before getting into a relationship with Emma, no matter that she had given her blessing, would have made things easier for Rachel to accept. She could sense that Logan didn’t approve of Scott’s new relationship, but she could also sense that he would rather see Scott with Emma than with Jean which made her smile. Logan could never hide how he felt about her and never could, she could sense he was fighting himself to keep from asking her about where they stood.
“Wait, we should check that house out,” Logan said, pointing to the middle house, for some reason that house had the full attention of his senses. He had an almost instinctive need to go into that house, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t coming from him personally.
“Why, what do you sense Logan?” Betsy inquired as she glanced over the house and doing a quick telepathic scan inside. “I don’t see anyone inside with my telepathic ability,” she told them.
“There is something familiar about it to me or maybe my host,” Logan explained as best he could. “This house is important,” he stated.
“Then we check it out. Perhaps if Logan is correct and it is important to our hosts then it may hold some answers,” Jean said after a few moments of thought.
Betsy looked between the two and just shrugged in response, seeing no harm in checking the house out. Usually Logan’s senses could be relied upon, but this wasn’t a normal circumstance. What they failed to notice having been distracted with their own thoughts was that they had been trailed by a young dark haired blond, a sneer on her lips as she looked for answers to how she came to being possessing her daughter’s body once more. Seeing one of the people who had helped defeat her plans last time she quickly followed them.
Across the town Snake wandered down the street he was on keeping an eye out for a costume store of all places. ‘How the hell did he come to this?’ he thought with a shake of his head. He swore when he found out who was responsible for all this, he was going to ensure he paid for it with pain. Abigail and Tonks followed behind him, keeping a close eye on their surroundings. Tonks almost ran into a lamp post as she spotted an armored man running after another man with blond hair swinging what looked like laser swords.
“What the hell?” she said looking to Abigail for answers.
“I have no idea about any of this so don’t go looking to me for answers,” Abigail responded wondering if she was dreaming all this.
Scott rubbed his jaw as he noted they were just reaching the outskirts of California, thus they were now only 30 minutes out from this Sunnydale that Rachel had said Jean was.
“30 minutes and then we are there,” he told the others. “We’ll need to find a place to land the blackbird before we go looking for Jean,” he added.
“It will be a small town so I’m sure there will be a field or something we can set it down in,” Kitty suggested in response. “The question is can Rachel home in on Jean so we can find her quickly and maybe Logan and Betsy as well?” she added.
“Rachel?” Emma inquired agreeing with Kitty that it would make things easier if they could track Jean down quickly.
“I can sense her, but at the moment my link to her is off and on,” Rachel answered. “Plus I don’t think she has realized I have sensed her,” she admitted.
“How is that possible?” Emma inquired, turning to face the red head somewhat surprised by the admission.
“Something is going on that is taking all of her concentration, that much I got from my initial contact with her,” Rachel answered with a sigh. “I think it is all connected, her being back on the earth plain and Logan and Betsy’s loss of their minds,” she continued. “Whatever has caused all of this is centered in that town,” she stated.
“But you have no idea what?” Kurt inquired from behind her.
“No and neither does mom, which is why her signal seems less strong than normal,” Rachel answered with a shake of her head. “She is focused on finding the answer to what is going on. I don’t think it has accrued to her to try and contact us,” she mused.
“Why wouldn’t she contact us?” Ororo asked, turning from the controls for a quick look at her friend’s daughter.
“Well if Logan and Betsy’s minds are there somehow, then maybe she feels she doesn’t need the help,” Rachel said with a shrug.
“Let us hope then that she does have help in the form of Logan and Betsy,” Ororo responded with a tight smile. “Or we might find whatever has affected them is not connected to this, and we will have much more to do to find the answer to it,” she added with a sigh.
Kitty shivered a little at that idea. She wanted Logan and Betsy back in their bodies. Seeing as Jubilee had been left to help Beast look after their bodies, her friend was probably tearing her hair out right now. So the quicker they got this sorted the better.
Jubilee watched from beside Rahne as Hank ran test after test on the unmoving bodies of Logan and Betsy. It was creepy to be frank to see the feral mutant who she looked to almost as a father unnaturally unmoving. She knew had she not been turned into a vampire something that had messed her up pretty badly, then she would be bouncing off the walls asking Hank question after question about why Logan and Betsy’s mind were missing much to his annoyance she was sure. She hated that she had been left behind, but since being turned into a vampire not only had her powers been unreliable, but so had her emotions. She had lost it in the field before due to her new status and the others had decided only to take her on those missions where such actions might be useful.
“So any idea what happened to them Hank?” Rahne inquired as Hank seemed to finally pause.
Jubilee was relieved it was her friend who had asked that question and not her.
Hank let out a frustrated sigh before answering. “I’m afraid I can find no signs of what caused this, not even a small symptom that could aide me in finding the cause and that is most unusual,” Hank admitted with clear frustration in his eyes.
“Are their bodies in any danger of shutting down Hank?” Jubilee finally asked, trying to keep her concern under wraps, but she doubted she did very well.
“No Jubilee they are not. Strangely enough their bodies are operating normally which is even stranger,” Hank answered as he rubbed his chin in thought. “I could almost believe an outside source is maintaining their bodies systems, but I can see no sign of such outside action,” he added.
“How long can they last like this?” Rahne inquired as she glanced at Jubilee and noted the real concern she felt about this twist in their lives. She wasn’t stupid, she knew no matter the changes Jubilee had gone through of late, she still cared deeply about them all and about Logan most of all.
“I don’t know Rahne and that concerns me,” Hank admitted with another sigh. “But I will keep monitoring them until the others can find the answers and hopefully return Logan and Betsy’s minds before this state begins to affect their bodies,” he assured them.
“Do you really think Jean is in some way responsible for their condition?” Jubilee asked.
“I don’t know as I’m unsure if Rachel is correct and Jean has returned,” Hank responded turning to face them. “But if she has and she felt she needed help she may have reached out to Logan and Betsy, something may have gone wrong or something else may have interfered with her telepathic call,” he suggested. “If anything if she is at the center of this I doubt she meant any harm. Considering the connection between her and Logan I cannot fathom such a thing,” he added.
And neither could Jubilee see such a thing, everyone in the X-Men knew how the two felt about one another. No Jean wouldn’t hurt Logan, but maybe it was possible she had summoned his mind elsewhere. Sitting down she let out a sigh and prepared to wait. Rahne went upstairs to get them all something to drink and eat passing Warren and Bobby who were on mansion duty while the others were away.
5. Chapter 5
Logan slipped into the house with ease after using one of his claws to pop the lock. Betsy followed with her sword out just in case someone was actually in the house. Jean brought up the rear, glancing behind them she wondered what it was Logan or Logan’s host had sensed here. It was Betsy who noted something on one of the cabinets. It was a group of pictures.
“Hey guys over here,” she shouted to the others. “Look at this,” she said picking up the left handed picture with three people in it. “Logan this is your host, he either lives here or has friends who do,” she pointed out as Logan and Jean joined her.
“So this is the body I’m in?” Logan asked as he took in the teenager in the picture.
“Yes,” Jean said before she noted another of the pictures. “And this is Betsy’s host,” she pointed out and noted her friend lean in to take a good look.
It was as one they all sensed someone behind them and they all spun around to face another teenager, the sneer on her face as she looked at them made them all pause.
“Hello Harris,” the unknown teen spat. “Tell me what is going on now,” she demanded. “And then you can tell me where that blond bitch who stopped me last time is so I can rend her soul from her body before I kill her,” she spat.
“And you are?” Logan inquired, already getting the feeling it was to him she was talking to.
“Don’t act stupid Harris, you know who I’m even if I’m in my daughter’s body,” the teen snarled in response. “Or has it been so long you’ve forgotten. I’m Catherine Madison,” she said. “Now what is going on here? How did I end up back in my daughter’s body?” she demanded in a more calm tone.
“Lady I’ve never laid eyes on you in my life, but if my host has and you are not his friend and you don’t sound like you are then you better back off before I carve you like a turkey,” Logan finally snapped and extended his claws in a warning gesture.
Catherine eyes widened for a few seconds before her mind focused on the words Harris had used, practically the word host. That sounded as if this was some form of possession and clearly she wasn’t the only one affected. This might be her only chance of keeping Amy’s body as well as escaping the hellish existence she had been stuck in since Buffy Summers and her friends defeated her.
“Logan, stop her,” Jean shouted as she got a brief flash of just who Catherine Madison was. Logan let out a snarl and made to leap at the woman.
Catherine however was one step ahead of them and shot her hand and cast the first curse she could think of. Seeing as she didn’t know how long this possession would last. She decided not to overuse her magic. She cast a powerful lust spell on the three, deciding the fall out once they woke up in their minds would be vengeance enough. Harris had only a small role in her defeat, her true hatred was aimed at Buffy Summers and her warlock friend Rupert Giles. She smirked as the three people in front of her began to make out, groping one another in a madness of lust. Turning she imagined Harris’s reaction when he came back into his right mind, turning she exited the house and moved on. She intended to first find and kill Summers and Giles, and then find some way of keeping control of her daughter’s body.
Rachel shivered suddenly as her mother’s telepathic signal went haywire, something was wrong she could feel it. She tried to reach out with her mind to see what was happening, her face went red as she got a feedback of lust that felt artificially induced. She let out a curse.
“Move it dad, moms in trouble,” Rachel commanded turning to her father. “I think we might be dealing with a witch of some kind,” she warned them.
“What makes you say that?” Rogue inquired before Scott could open his mouth to ask the same.
“Don’t ask,” Rachel shot back. “Just push this thing as hard as it can, we have to get on the ground and get moving,” she told them.
“Just take it easy Rachel, 15 more minutes and we’ll be there,” Scott told his now very agitated daughter.
Rachel just signed and shook her head knowing by then it would be far too late to stop what was happening, whoever had cast that spell was going to be in a world of hurt when they were found.
Snake growled as he let loose with the gun he’d had to borrow from Abigail again then watched in satisfaction as the creature dusted in front of his eyes, this wasn’t turning out to be easy. This whole town seemed to be infested with monsters he had once thought only out of the movies or ancient myths, turning he watched as Abigail struggled with another of the creatures which had attacked them. Wondering where Tonks was he finally spotted her fighting desperately to keep another of the things of her, but her fight wasn’t going so well. The monster had already forced her to the ground and was trying to bite her throat, bring up his weapon he fired directly into the creature’s head which exploded outward before the thing dusted leaving Tonks breathing hard in relief. He quickly spun back to help Abigail, but found she had already brought the monster down to its knees somehow. He watched in interest as she kneed the thing in the face, clearly breaking its nose. It howled in pain as it fell backward from the force of the blow as blood ran down its face. Abigail then quickly pulled an arrow from her side pack and slammed it into the things heart and then seemed to nod as it dusted as well.
“I hate vampires,” Tonks groaned as she got back up and quickly picked up her fallen wand.
Maybe there had been some truth in Harry’s view that witches and wizards relied too much on their wands, even the Aurors didn’t believe too much in using unarmed combat in their jobs. That vampire had almost had her because once she had lost her wand she had barely any training in defending herself without it to fight for her life. Thankfully she wasn’t alone in this and Snake had something that could kill vampires easily. Granted it wasn’t actually his weapon, but Abigail’s who clearly had some hand to hand combat training.
“You are not the only one believe me,” Abigail spat as she stared down at the ashes of the vampire she had just killed. “They are a plague on the world,” she stated coldly.
Snake didn’t say anything as he knew vampires hadn’t existed in his world as far as he knew. Was it possible this wasn’t his world? Had whatever had pulled him here actually moved him to another world? He had heard of a theory of alternate dimensions, places which were like his world, but with differences within, some suitable and some much bigger. His head hurt just thinking about it, but he’d rather believe this wasn’t his world. The idea of these creatures actually running loose with no one aware of them in his own world, well truthfully the idea frightened him.
“Now come on, we have to find that damn costume shop,” Abigail snapped as she moved on, finally breaking her stare at the ashes of the vampire. “I just hope he has the answers we need to go home,” she growled out as she notched a new arrow in her crossbow.
“I wonder how the others are doing,” Tonks mused aloud as she followed, but kept an eye on their rear.
In the Summers house Logan was busy trailing kisses down Jean’s neck as she clung to his body with her hands gripping his ass. They both knew what they were doing was wrong right now, but they couldn’t stop their bodies from been consumed by lust generated by Catherine’s spell.
Betsy was no better off, she had tried to fight the spell, but found herself unable to back away from Logan and Jean. At the moment she was sharing a heated kiss with Jean over Logan’s shoulder while one of her hands trailed down Logan’s ass, the other was busy fondling Jean’s ass. She let out a moan of her own as Jean groped her own ass in return. Logan grabbed Jean in a heated clinch before heading up the stairs of the house intending to find a bed. Betsy quickly followed with a glazed lustful look at Logan’s butt. As soon as Logan located a bed he dropped Jean onto it and began to pull his clothes off, instincts to claim Jean and Betsy helped the spell to cloud his mind even more. Jean watched with a small smile before she reached up and pulled the zipper down her back and began to pull her own costume off, she heard Logan’s appreciative groan as he saw her bra covered breasts come into view. Betsy was also in the middle of pulling her costume off from behind them, not even the fact they were not in their own bodies could stop the spell from taking full effect on them.
(Blackbird, Sunnydale Park)
Rachel jumped off the ramp of the plane before almost stumbling as she felt another feedback of lust through her link to her mother. ‘This was bad,’ she thought. They had taken far too long to get here, Jean and if she was correct Logan and Betsy were not going to be in very good moods when they located them. She glanced back as the others pilled of the plane before the ramp retracted. She suddenly had a flashback to the forth Star Trek movie she had seen last week.
“Everyone, remember where we’re parked,” she ordered with a smirk before she could help herself even though this situation wasn’t a humorous one.
Kurt and Kitty giggled as they too had been in the movie and game room when the movie was on. Scott and the others however only gave her blank looks in response. Shaking her head she turned and headed off before pausing. Suddenly she realized this mission wasn’t going to be as simple as finding Jean and the others.
“Vampires,” Rachel spat as her telepathic scan began to pick up things that could only mean one thing. “I also sense other things infesting this town, this might be harder than we thought,” she warned.
“Are you sure?” Emma inquired before she reached out with her own powers while noting the hateful look that now graced Ororo’s face.
Storm had a history with vampires and especially with the ancient one called Dracula. She knew most of the X-Men despised vampires on general for what they had tried to do to Ororo. Most of their encounters had been bloody ones including their latest one which had cost Jubilee her humanity, which made the hatred felt for these creatures all the more potent.
“Emma?” Scott inquired not doubting his daughter, but wanting a second opinion just in case something had thrown her senses off. Plus he knew with vampires involved things could become more deadly for the team. He didn’t want to lose any more people to the evil things.
“She’s right Scott, this town seems invested with the things,” Emma answered with a sigh. “But there is far more going on here, I think Rachel maybe right,” she continued. “Magic is involved here, I’m sensing people that shouldn’t exist,” she told him.
“It is Halloween tonight,” Gambit pointed out as he kept an eye out.
Scott frowned as he took in that information wondering what the link was to Jean’s resurrection, as well as Logan and Betsy’s condition. ‘Was magic at the heart of it all?’ he asked himself.
“Rachel, lead us to Jean as best as you can,” he ordered after thinking it over. “Storm no going off on your own trying to make the vampires pay for what they have done to us in the past,” he added with a pointed look at Ororo who after a tense few moments nodded in agreement. “Keep your guard up and watch each other,” he stated before he nodded to Rachel to lead them out.
Rachel nodded back before heading out of the park hoping they still might locate her mother before anything that couldn’t be taken back happened, but even as she thought that she knew it was already too late. Kurt and Ororo took up the rear as Emma and Scott secured their center. On each side Rogue and Gambit watched their flanks, each were now tense and ready for action.
(Summers House, Sunnydale)
Jean moaned as Logan went to work on her breasts after he removed her bra, she gripped her hair in one of her hands while raking her nails down his back with the other. By their side Betsy lay trailing her hands down her side, sending tingles of pleasure up and down her body as the lust spell they were under amped up the feelings they felt. Betsy finally latched onto one of Jean’s breasts as Logan moved up Jean’s neck before capturing her mouth in a heated almost animalistic kiss. Jean returned it with all the lust she felt, but also fueled by the love she actually felt for Logan. Reaching down she grabbed hold of Logan’s hardened cock and guided it to her entrance. A quick glance at one another followed by a quick nod by Jean, Logan let lose a growl before he pushed himself inside the woman he had loved for so very long.
Jean let out a cry of pleasure as she felt herself being filled by Logan, giving her a few seconds to get used to him Logan then began to rut up and down against her. Betsy continued to feast on Jean’s breasts as one of Jean’s own hands came around her and began to play with Betsy’s own breasts and nipples. Betsy wanting some relief herself slipped two fingers into herself and timed herself to Logan’s thrusts into Jean. Logan gently bit down into Jean’s neck intending to mark her as his, he let out a slight hiss as he felt Jean’s nails dig into his back but he didn’t stop his trusts. Jean wrapped her legs around Logan lost in the pleasure of finally making love to Logan. She felt Logan bite a bit harder into her neck and thus decided to return the favor. Learning down she bit into Logan’s own shoulder causing him to growl in response. She could feel the animalistic urges rising in him fueled by the spell they were under. Logan picked up the speed of his thrusts before taking note of Betsy fingering herself in time to his thrusts, unable to stop himself he reached over and pulled Betsy’s fingers out causing her to grown in disappointment before a sigh of pleasure followed as he pushed two of his own fingers inside her. Betsy’s head dropped onto the bed beside Jean as both were pleasured by Logan. She reached over and took Jean’s hand into her own as the pleasure built.
Their minds each sought the other before pulling Logan into a three way link, this had the side effect of doubling the pleasure they were all feeling. Logan lost any control he still had and began to push himself harder into Jean. Jean let out a heavy moan as this was unlike any sexual experience she had before. She closed her eyes as she tried to impale herself harder onto Logan’s manhood. Betsy found it hard to keep herself still as Logan’s fingers pistoled into her womanhood like a jackhammer. Betsy reached up and played with her own breasts for a few minutes before she could take it no longer and burst into a mind blowing climax and a few moments later Logan let out a yell as he came within Jean who quickly followed her friends into a climax that was almost too much to bear as it washed through her.
Logan collapsed onto Jean’s chest as he pulled his fingers out of Betsy who watched him with hooded eyes, unable to help himself he put his fingers into his mouth and sucked off the juices. Betsy smiled at him before she pushed him off Jean and quickly mounted him herself, she let out a gasp of surprise at his length as it went in before quickly setting a quick pace as the power of the lust spell consumed them once more. Jean sat up and leaned forward and began to kiss and suckle Betsy’s breasts making her moan even louder. Betsy closed her eyes and reveled in the sensations she was feeling, it no longer mattered that they were all under a spell. It had been far too long since she had given to her body’s want of company, after the breakdown of her relationship with Warren she’d been weary of getting hurt again. Leaning down she kissed Logan as hard as she could and was thrilled when he returned it. As she let go Logan shot forward and like with Jean bit her neck lightly. She let out a hiss not of pain but pure pleasure, which was enhanced by Jean nipping at her nipples as she suckled them. Once Logan let go of her neck after kissing the mark he had left she increased the pace and quickly began to head to a second climax. Having a wicked idea she pushed Jean back down on the bed and thrust her fingers into Jean’s wet hole, Jean arched her back at the welcome intrusion and shuddered as Betsy thrust into her as quickly as she could. Logan reached across and bean to tweak and grope her breasts increasing the pleasure Jean was feeling. All too quickly all three rushed to their second climax, each let out a cry of release. As the pleasure rushed through him Logan grunted as he came within Betsy who collapsed against him completely spent, Jean shuddered a few more times as she curled up against Logan’s welcoming side. Betsy reached out and took Jean’s hand in hers before she fell asleep completely drained.
Logan pulled Jean closer and kissed her once more before he too fell asleep. Jean stayed awake for a few minutes as she felt the lust spell begin to fail, this she knew would have serious consequences not only for them, but for their hosts as well but they had been caught off guard by the witch. Jean promised she’d pay. This wasn’t how she had wanted her first time with Logan to be or his with her, and she knew when they woke free of the spell Logan would not be in a good mood and neither would Betsy. Letting out a sigh, she finally let sleep claim her.
Janus almost wished he had what the humans called ‘snacks’ as this night was turning out more chaos than he had ever imagined, he would have to ensure Ethan was rewarded. Taking a quick glance into the Powers area of the upper realms he took note of the looks on their faces, which could only be seen as horrified as events took shape even more. They had no idea now how to correct things so that they went back to how they had originally intended it to go. He noted others in the upper realms were divided between those pleased by the twists and those who believed it was a horrific error. In his view as far as he could tell, there was no going back now. The Powers plans were finished. So the question now on everyone’s mind in the upper realms was ‘What happens now?’
6. Chapter 6
Tonks watched in utter awe as a man dressed as what could only be described as a pirate fought another man dressed as a pirate, the most interesting fact was that every time one of them stabbed the other neither died. She glanced at Abigail and noted she looked just as shocked, but she quickly rallied and drew an arrow and let loose at the same time as Snake unloaded two bullets into the pirates clearly thinking them vampires. Both men dropped to the ground, Snake grunted as he began to turn away, before a groan alerted him to the fact that neither man was dead.
“That’s impossible,” Abigail muttered in complete shock. “Any vampire should have dusted,” she spluttered.
“Here now love, we ain’t any mythical beasts,” the first pirate stated as he climbed back to his feet and grabbed his sword. “I’m Captain Jack Sparrow, and this man is my treacherous former first mate Hector Barbossa,” he introduced him and the other pirate.
“The pleasure is all mine,” Hector said. “But if you will excuse us Miss, we have a duel to finish,” he added as he pulled the arrow out of his heart.
“Yes we do Hector,” Jack responded with a rather crazed smile. “Or is there something we can be doing for you my lady?” he inquired.
Abigail had no clue how to respond to the pirates, as she was still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that neither were vampires and yet didn’t die when shot or stabbed.
Tonks snorted while trying to contain a laugh at the expression on her face, she glanced at Snake who only shrugged.
“I don’t suppose either of you know where we can find a costume shop?” she inquired.
“Neh I can’t say I do,” Hector answered with a shake of his head. “But then I’ve been too busy trying to kill Jack,” he pointed out with a crooked smirk.
“Sorry love, neither have I,” Jack spoke up. “But considering your outfits I think you look fine, no need to change clothes,” he added with a charming smile or at least clearly what he thought was a charming smile. “In fact I have to say where ever we are I like it, the ladies styles have improved,” he admitted his smile turning lecherous making Tonks roll her eyes.
“So you know you are not where you are supposed to be then?” Snake inquired.
“Here now we maybe a couple of undead pirates from the 18th century lad, but we are not blind or stupid,” Jack responded with a glare. “Now is that all?” he asked.
“Yeah I think that is it, thanks and sorry for shooting you,” Abigail finally spoke up before quickly turning and walking away. Tonks and Snake exchanged a quick glance before shrugging and following after her. Jack and Hector just watched for a few moments before attacking one another again.
“That was just plain weird,” Abigail muttered with a shake of her head still trying to work it out in her head how the two pirates were still alive.
“Seems par for the course today,” Snake responded as he looked back to see the two pirates still at each other’s throats. “Live with it girl,” he told her.
“Aren’t you fazed by any of this Snake?” Tonks inquired as her haired shifted from her normal pink to dark blue.
“Lady I don’t get fazed by shit,” Snake shot back with an irritable look which she took to assume he was insulted by the question. “I’m Snake Plisskin, the best damn mercenary there is,” he told her. “I’ve survived more shit than you can possibly imagine,” he added with a bit of a cocky grin appearing before he regained control. “This night might have more weird shit than I’m used to, but I will survive it and so will you if you keep your wits around you and be prepared for anything,” he assured her confidently.
Before either of them could respond they were attacked by two flame wielding warlocks, mindful of what they had been told about some of the things running loose being kids transformed into their costumes they decided to use none lethal means of beating their adversary’s. Tonks quickly cast shields around them as she recognized they were fighting against magic users. She then turned to the task of putting them down and was far more confident as she was back in her own element.
Just down the street from where the fight was going on the souled vampire Angel was running through the chaos. He was desperately trying to find Buffy and the others after he realized something was wrong during a light patrol. He hadn’t expected any problems as it was Halloween, a slow and quiet night for vampires in general for a host of reasons. Instead he had found the streets littered with creatures and fictional characters running amok, it hadn’t taken him long to figure out a witch or warlock was behind this mess.
His main worry at the moment was the fact he had seen Spike and a group of his followers walking through the chaos, he had also witnessed him draining a young man he had caught in the open. But he hadn’t been able to interfere as the odds were against him, he had to find Buffy and the others and warn them of the danger coming for them and he had no doubt Spike was looking for Buffy. It didn’t take a genius to work out that Spike was hoping Buffy had been affected by whatever magic was at work here. If she had been affected then Angel knew she was vulnerable and that meant he had to find her first and protect her until they could find the cause and stop it. It took him a few seconds to see the fight ahead of him, and only a second more to recognize Buffy’s blond ponytail in the middle of the fight. He quickly ran to help even as he saw one of the warlocks go down as Giles nailed him with a wicked right hand, before he followed it up with a savage kick to the man’s head. Angel almost paused as that was more than he expected of the watcher. He began to dread that they had indeed been affected. But then why were they helping one another if they had?
Abigail was beginning to wish these two crazy people who could somehow throw balls of fire at them were threats she could kill, having to pull her punches wasn’t something she was used too. Snapping out a perfect thrust kick, she was aggravated when it was avoided by the man snapping his fingers and making himself seem to vanish and reappear of to the side of her. Snake seemed to be having just as much trouble as she was having, clearly he too was used to killing his opponents.
Tonks however had found some cover and was trading spells with the second of the warlocks, her hair had turned a dark purple as she tried to put the warlock down quickly. The man was quick, but Tonks had been in a war against the darkest evilest people around, each one a dangerous enemy who had tried to kill her more than once. As she thought that, the memory of that last battle entered her head and of those last few seconds as Bellatrix bore down on her. ‘Had she been about to die? And would she ever see Remus or their son again?’ she thought.
Shaking her head and letting out a curse at getting distracted during a battle, something Mad Eye would have her head over if he hadn’t died months before that fateful final battle. Jerking out of the way of a stray blast of fire, she rolled forward and came up firing as powerful a stunning spell as she could. The man couldn’t dodge as he was kept in place by Snake’s precision shooting. She smirked as the spell hit him dead center in the face. The man went flying backwards and hit the pavement hard.
“Nice,” Snake told her with a nod of his head as he turned back to the one Abigail was fighting only to see a tall dark haired stranger tackle the man and begin to fight him himself. The man Snake noted was quick, far quicker than he had seen from any human.
“Who the hell is he?” Tonks asked as she came up behind him with her wand aimed at both fighters.
“No idea, but I’ve got a bad feeling he is not a friend,” Snake responded with a frown marring his features as he felt a distinct dislike for this newcomer although he couldn’t explain it.
Angel growled as he thought the warlock although he knew from the chaos he had already seen tonight that he was actually just a kid, a kid caught up in a real warlocks spell. Kicking the man in the back of the ankle of his left leg, he quickly followed it up with a karate chop to the back of the head and watched in supreme satisfaction as he fell to the ground. They didn’t have time to be messing around with the affected people running amok, Spike and his followers were coming for them all. They had to find Xander and the others if they were out here, and then find some place to bunker down until this madness ended.
“Buffy, thank god I’ve found you,” Angel said as he turned to Buffy who stared at him in confusion as this stranger came right at her.
“Hey,” Snake snarled moving to intercept him as the stranger pulled Abigail into an intimate hug.
Abigail’s eyes went wide as she felt the cold skin brush past her as the stranger hugged her. This thing was a damn vampire and yet he was acting as if he was a friend. Was it possible her host was foolish enough to trust a vampire? Snarling in anger at the mere thought she brought her knee up right into the man’s privates and watched in satisfaction as he collapsed to the ground screaming in agony and clutching his now wounded privates. Snake felt a smirk appear on his face as he saw what just happened, in fact he found himself feeling proud of what Abigail had just done along with joy at the man’s pain.
‘Why do I feel so strongly about this?’ Snake thought.
“B…Bu..Buffy why did you do that?” Angel gasped between gasps of breath. “Spike is coming for us all, we have to find the others and hide,” he told them as the pain began to lessen.
“Die vampire,” Abigail spat in return ignoring a sudden wave of horror and desperation as she notched an arrow and fired it into the things undead heart.
Angel only had a few moments to realize he was about to die at the hands of the woman he loved, before he could say or do anything he felt the arrow strike him straight in the heart. Eyes widened as he turned to dust, the last thought that went through his head was at least he was free of the torment Angelus had caused him since he had been souled.
“Nice shot,” Snake said as he smacked Abigail on the back. “Although his actions towards you make me wonder if she was foolish enough to let this thing get close to her,” he mused.
“I had the same disturbing thought, worse when I went to kill him I felt horror and desperation and I have to wonder if our hosts are aware of what is going on around them,” Abigail responded thoughtfully. “That anyone could actually care for a vampire is a disturbing idea, worse it should be classed as a crime against humanity,” she added.
“Is it possible she didn’t know he was a vampire?” Tonks inquired making them both turn to look at her.
“How could she not know, his skin is ice cold to the touch and you cannot hide the blood lust for long,” Abigail shot back with a shake of her head. “Another question what did he mean when he said Spike is coming for us all?” she pointed out.
“Another vampire maybe?” Snake answered as he reloaded his guns. “Maybe an enemy of both of them, so your host and this vampire teamed up to kill him,” he continued.
Abigail snorted in disgust at that idea. “She should have just killed him from the get go, no matter what their deal was,” she told them.
“Let’s move please,” Tonks said, pushing Abigail lightly to get her to stop thinking about the vampire and to get moving. “If there is some other vampire coming for us, then it makes sense to believe it might not be alone,” she suggested to which both Snake and Abigail couldn’t fault her logic.
Janus couldn’t stop laughing as he watched the blond haired slayer actually dust her vampiric lover, granted she was possessed right now but to see he kill Angelus was humorous in the extreme. He could also see and hear the anger and horror on the Powers faces as they watched all their plans for the souled vampire go up in smoke, oh this night was getting more and more interesting. The resulting changes this night was going to be far reaching and will have great consequences for all involved, including himself but then that was the fun of chaos. It had the power to change even the longest laid and supposedly destined plans, which had been proven more than once, but most recently by Alexander Harris when he had brought the slayer back after the Master drained her. The powers had never seen that event coming, nor had they seen the slayer line been divided in to two.
‘Ah now this will be an interesting reunion,’ the eternal being thought as he noted the X-Men had found the house that housed six individuals within three bodies of which three of them were known and in control.
7. Chapter 7
(Summers House, Sunnydale)
Rachel paused in front of the house and stared at its upper level with a mix of anticipation and fear of what they would find. She felt Kurt step up next to her and give her hand a quick squeeze of support as he sensed her doubts. She let out a deep breath before she entered the house with the others following close behind. Scott looked around wondering if Jean was actually here. Rachel paused as she felt the after effects of the spell that had so troubled her since feeling it hit her mother, this was bad.
“You guys stay here,” Rachel commanded as she headed for the stairs.
“Rachel you should take someone with you just in case it isn’t Jean you are sensing,” Scott immediately protested as she knew he would. “In fact I should come with you so we can be sure it is Jean,” he added.
“NO,” Rachel all but shouted at him. “Stay here and let me do this, and Emma don’t even try and sense what is going on or I will shut your mind down for a bit,” she added and ended with a warning and a glare at the blond haired woman who was now her father’s lover.
Emma blinked at the threat from the young red head before glancing at Scott who could only shrug in response, she knew Rachel could indeed shut her mind down thanks to the fact she was a Phoenix host. Thus she decided against using her powers to see what Rachel was trying to prevent them from seeing. Rachel seemed to sense her decision and just nodded in response before walking up the stairs and vanishing.
“Is it me or is Rachel afraid of something?” Gambit inquired as he leaned against the wall. “Or of us finding out something?” he added to which the others all looked away, but realized the Cajun was spot on.
Rachel pushed the door open to where she could feel her mother was along with the missing minds of Logan and Betsy. How the two came to be exactly where Jean reappeared was a mystery she wanted solved. She gasped as the door opened and she saw three naked people lying on the bed, two women and a man. What shocked and confused her was that she could sense the minds of her mother, Logan and Betsy before her and yet they looked nothing like she knew they did. And while that could be explained away as Logan and Betsy’s bodies were back at the mansion, it didn’t explain the absence of her mother’s body.
“Mom,” she said as loud as she dared so not to extract the attention of the others downstairs. She did her best to ignore the fact it looked like all three people on the bed had just had sex. ‘That witch was so dead,’ she thought. “Mom,” she repeated and was relieved when one of the bodies stirred.
Jean opened her eyes and stretched as she heard a voice she recognized immediately. Her body felt wonderfully sore before the memories of what had taken place not twenty minutes before flashed in her mind. Oh god they had a threesome, her, Betsy and Logan had sex due to a lust spell cast by a psychotic witch. The repeat of the voice made her turn and face the doorway, the blood drained from her face as she saw her daughter standing there with a gobsmacked look on her face.
“Oh god Rachel,” Jean shouted in horror as she quickly pulled the bed cover over her and the others. “What are you doing here?” she demanded trying to get over her shock at seeing her daughter staring at them in their state of undress and clearly having had sex.
“I sensed you when you came back to the earth plain,” Rachel answered doing her best not to stare at the scene before her. “I thought you had come back, that you had come back to us… to me,” she added almost tearfully. “But that isn’t your body mom. What’s going on?” she asked in confusion and refocusing herself.
“No it isn’t and neither are the bodies before you Logan’s or Betsy’s,” Jean responded as calmly as she could which wasn’t all that calm as she had just been caught naked in bed after a threesome with two friends by her own daughter. “As for how… magic,” she stated.
“How did you all get here?” Rachel asked as the other two people on the bed began to wake up.
“Shit… little red,” Logan let out a curse as he realized who was at the door. “This isn’t what it looks like kid,” he desperately began to protest. He was already beginning to feel guilt for not been able to stop what happened. He had wanted anything between him and Jean to be consensual. He felt Jean’s hand slip into his and give it a soft squeeze clearly sensing his feelings, then Betsy’s hand on his leg so she must have sensed it to.
“Easy Logan I know it isn’t. I sensed the lust spell as soon as it hit Mom,” Rachel assured him, knowing Logan would never have taken advantage of her mother or Betsy for that matter. “Not a pleasant experience, but at least I was somewhat prepared to find you like this or something similar as I sensed the spell hit you through my link to mom,” she added. “Had I not then this would be a whole more embarrassing and troublesome as the others are downstairs,” she told them.
“Shit,” Logan growled beginning to feel a burning anger towards the witch who had done this to them. He was at least relieved that Rachel didn’t think he had taken advantage of Jean and Betsy. “Turn around kid we’ve got to get dressed before they come up here on their own to see what is taking you so long,” he hissed at her.
Rachel did just that as she didn’t want to get an eye full of Logan naked or worse yet, Betsy and especially her own mother. She kept her mind locked downstairs and the growing worry and impatience she could feel from Scott, and some of the others. Explaining this was going to take some imagination as it was, she didn’t need her father coming up here and seeing Jean finally in bed with Logan and Betsy as well. Ex-wife or not, she knew because of the fact it was Logan who she had bedded the response would be explosive, best to delay that for now. She could hear the rustling of clothes as the three dressed behind her and hoped the next few minutes to go easy for them all.
“I’m sorry Rachel that you had to feel that,” Jean said once she was dressed and moved over to her daughter, still trying to get over being caught by her own daughter in such a way. “The witch who cast the spell caught us by surprise. She seemed to know Logan’s host body and wanted revenge for being stopped before,” she explained. “She is in possession of her daughter’s body, as she was before when she was stopped,” she told her as she pulled her daughter into a comforting hug.
“So she is evil then?” Rachel inquired without turning around and enjoying the feel of her mother hugging her once more.
“Yes she is and we must find her and stop her before she can find the answers to what has happened tonight. We must stop her from gaining control of her daughter forever,” Jean answered with a nod of her head as she let go of Rachel and pushed her hair back from her eyes.
“Rachel, are you okay up there?” Rogue shouted up the stairs.
“I’m fine Rogue, we’ll be down in a few minutes,” Rachel shouted back down, knowing the longer they stayed up then the more chance Scott and the others would come up.
“Ok we’re ready, but what are we going to tell them?” Betsy asked as she finished getting back into her costume. “I mean how do we explain being in this house, and why it took us so long to come down,” she added.
“Good point,” Logan growled wanting nothing more than to rend that witch who had cast that spell to pieces, she may have destroyed any chance he might have had with Jean. He noted Jean glance at him at that thought, he didn’t see any anger in her eyes directed at him. But he didn’t dare hope that this experience had any negative impact on her. He glanced at Betsy and hoped his friendship with her wasn’t damaged by this either.
“We tell them we came here for the exact reasons we did come here for, then we tell them we decided to rest for a small while,” Betsy suggested as calmly as she could after been caught in bed with two friends by one of those friend’s daughter.
“It’ll work for now, we have far too many other things to do then to get hung up on this,” Logan agreed with a nod of his head to which the others agreed.
“Maybe we’ll be lucky and they will be so surprised by Mom’s return they won’t ask and then we won’t have to lie,” Rachel suggested even if she knew it was a slim hope at best.
“Then let us get this reunion over with and find not only that witch but the cause of all this,” Jean told them and had Rachel lead them down.
Scott looked up as Rachel finally came down before frowning as he saw the three people who followed her, which wasn’t Jean he thought relieved even if she was dressed like her. He noted Emma also seemed to relax somewhat. ‘Maybe Rachel had sensed something with the ability to trick her into thinking it was Jean,’ he thought.
“Hello Scott,” Jean said uncomfortably as she looked at her ex-husband standing side by side with Emma. She felt as well as sensed Logan’s unease as well from behind her.
“Er… do I know you?” Scott responded as he looked between the woman dressed as Jean and his daughter.
“What’s wrong one eye?” Logan growled in response. “Can’t you tell who it is standing in front of you?” he asked with a glare.
“Logan?” Kitty shouted in surprise as the unknown male sounded exactly like their friend, and now she looked closely at him seemed dressed like him as well.
“It’s me half pint,” Logan responded with a shark’s grin and using his personal nick name for her.
“That can’t be,” Scott protested as he glanced from one to the other before turning back to the woman dressed as Jean. “Jean… is that really you?” he asked, causing Logan to roll his eyes in annoyance.
“No I’m her evil twin,” Jean said unable to keep the sarcasm out of her tone.
“Not funny mom,” Rachel said in response as Jean did actually have an evil twin or to be more actuate an evil clone called Madelyne Pryor. “The good news is we now know what happened to Logan and Betsy, their minds were pulled into these people’s bodies just as mom was pulled into the woman you see before you,” she continued moving onto more serious news.
“But how were their minds pulled into these people?” Kurt inquired, relived in one sense that their friends were alright depending on how you looked at it, but also worried about what kind of enemy they faced who could do this sort of thing.
“We are the victims of magic as far I know,” Jean answered with a sigh. “Tonight is Halloween and many people mostly children are dressed in costumes, so my guess is someone cast a spell to turn those people into their costumes,” she explained her own thesis of what had happened. “For what reason they did this, we can only guess,” she added with a shake of her head. “We met some others during a rescue of some unaffected people, after saving them we decided to split up and find the costume shop as it was the only connection we could think of,” she went on.
“Which brings up a good question Jean, how are they doing?” Betsy inquired glancing at the red head and trying not to think about how only a few minutes before she had been naked in a bed with her and Logan.
Jean glanced back at her, noting her friend had asked a good question, it had been more than an hour since they had separated from their allies in this mess. Closing her eyes, she reached out with her mind and quickly located Snake, Tonks and Abigail. She was relieved they were still alive, but the agitation and anger she felt worried her. Something was after them, it was from Abigail’s mind she found the answers she needed as to what. Quickly withdrawing, she knew time was even more against them.
“Damn it, they are been chased by a vampire and its followers,” Jean reported. “We’ll have to help them,” she added. “And quickly, these vampires are trying to box them in,” she told them.
“Then let’s stop talking and get moving,” Logan growled looking forward to gut some more vampire scum.
“Whoa wait a minute, I need more to go on here Logan,” Scott said getting in the way as Logan made his way to the door. “This could be a trap meant for us, I mean what else would draw us away from the mansion?” he suggested.
“If it is a trap, then I intend to introduce whoever it is to my claws,” Logan snarled in response. “Now get out of my way boyscout. We have people to help and vampires to kill,” he added as he shouldered past him and headed for the door, his mind clear of all distractions and focused on the business at hand.
Scott wanted to protest, but the others were already following the man now trapped in a teenagers body. Storm was intent on helping Logan destroy as many vampires as they could. He glanced at Jean, but she too was already moving. Looking at Emma he noted she was frowning before she winced as if in pain.
“What is it?” he asked as he moved to her side.
“I was just trying to get a read on Jean and the other two, about what happened before we arrived,” Emma told him as she rubbed her head trying to ignore the headache she now had. “But she blocked me from reading any of their minds, and then for good measure gave me a psychic jab that has left me with a headache,” she added.
“Do you have idea as to why?” Scott asked as they both headed out after the other X-Men.
“None at all Scott and that worries me,” Emma responded. “I’ve never been comfortable around Jean, and not just because she had you,” she admitted, not that it came as a shock to Scott. “Her powers are beyond anything we know, and sometimes I fear one day it will consume her fully and we will see the return of the Dark Phoenix, only this time without any way for Jean to help us stop it as her personality will be gone,” she explained. “I mostly do a quick scan of her when she is with us every so often, she knows I do it and doesn’t bother blocking me,” she went on, wincing as the headache got a little worse for a few seconds before fading. “But now she is blocking me and it concerns me greatly as to the reason why, especially as she is keeping me from reading Logan or Betsy’s minds as well,” she finished with a sigh.
“I don’t think Jean would do anything to harm us Emma, especially as Rachel is with us as well,” Scott replied after a few moments of deep thought. “But all the same keep an eye on her, I still am not one hundred percent sure this is actually Jean, no matter what Rachel or Logan are saying,” he admitted as he ran a hand through his hair and wished he could be certain.
“If it is not Jean then who is it?” Emma inquired with a raised eyebrow.
“I don’t know. Clearly it isn’t Madelyne, but maybe Sinister has been up to his old tricks and this is some new plan of his,” Scott answered and even to his own ears he sounded uncertain.
“That does make some sort of sense, but it does not answer how Logan and Betsy’s minds got stuck in those bodies,” Emma shot back as she glanced at the three ahead of her. “But I will do as you ask,” she added.
Rachel just shook her head having heard everything they had said as she was bringing up the rear with Kurt, Rogue and Gambit. She knew the two were just been cautious, but she couldn’t help but think they were a tad paranoid.
(Ethan’s Costume Shop)
Ethan smirked as he watched his now possessed friend run for his life, this was entertainment and it was some long overdue revenge. Ripper had turned his back on him and their other friends, he’d let his conscious get in the way of the power they had command of. Allowed the death of one of their friends to make him turn his back on everything they had once been and could have been, worse just before that incident Ripper had slept with his then girlfriend Sophie behind his back. He’d ignored it at first for the good of the group, and the fact he knew Sophie wasn’t going to be a long term relationship. But after the Eyghon mess and the death of Wilson his anger and hatred at Ripper’s response spilled over, from that moment on they were enemies. Thinking back on all that made him hope Ripper survived the current trouble, because he wanted to be the one who made Ripper Giles pay.
‘Have fun Ripper, our time will come,’ Ethan promised.
Leaning back in his chair he continued to watch as the platinum haired vampire and his goons closed in on Ripper and his friends, he was certain the next few minutes would be entertaining.
Janus was somewhat annoyed to suddenly find himself in a huge hall surrounded by not only the powers, but also a variety of others including many of the old gods he was a part of. Clearly the events on the Earth plain had finally reached the highest echelons of power. His annoyance quickly vanished as the Metatron appeared and he wasn’t alone. Behind him were a host of archangels and in the center god herself, looking far angrier than he had seen her in a few thousand years, this was going to be fun.
“We have a question to ask you all and you better have a good answer,” Metatron spat as he felt god’s anger flow through him and probably every archangel here. “What the hell is going on below on the Earth plain?” he demanded to know. “Why is it that all the plans god put into place seem to have been ignored?” he continued as he stalked up and down while god’s eyes remained pinned on the Powers.
Janus could see the fear on the faces on the powers as well as the other groups assigned to watch over and monitor the Earth plain. Even he couldn’t help but feel a tingle of fear. While the old gods had no real power or control over the Earth plain anymore, they did still dabble in the events on it, which is why they were all here before god and her host.
“WELL?” Metatron shouted as the host began to exclude an air of menace around themselves.
8. Chapter 8
Spike grinned like the Cheshire cat as his lackeys closed in on the Slayer and her two friends. They had finally caught sight of them only ten minutes ago and since then had been chasing them and trying to box them in. Soon very soon he would have the Slayer in his grasp and then he would taste Slayer blood once more. It had been at least twenty to twenty five years since he had killed his last Slayer. A young dark woman who he never got the name off, he had drained her slowly as he savored not only her blood, but her body too. And what a body she had, slim but not thin with big breasts he could get his hands around and play with. She had screamed and cried for mercy as he took his time with her, he had thought about taking her in a far more sexual manner before finishing her off. But he had seen other vampires taken out when they let their guards down in such a manner, so playing with her had been enough for him. Still he remembered the taste of her blood, Slayer’s had a special taste to them that once tasted could never be truly sated afterwards. It was one of the main reasons Slayers were hunted so much by those who had tasted it before. The lackeys who ran from Slayers didn’t even know what they were missing.
Abigail wanted to turn and fight, but she knew that it would be an unwinnable fight, there were just to many vampires for them to kill on their own. She wished Logan and the others were still with them, as it would have evened up the numbers a little. Beside her she could tell Snake was just as frustrated by this situation. He was a fighter just like her and he wanted to fight, but he knew as well that it was a no win scenario. On her other side Tonks kept pace, but unlike her and Snake she could tell the pink haired woman had no intention of wanting to fight, it was clear she wanted to live.
“We can’t keep running for much longer,” Tonks finally said as she felt herself begin to tire. It felt like she had been running for miles.
Snake almost stumbled as he felt a voice suddenly start speaking in his head, but instinct kept him moving. It was the one called Jean he realized in relief. Somehow she had the ability to project her thoughts into his mind. ‘So that is what she meant about being able to keep track of them,’ he thought.
“We only have to keep going until we hit the next block,” Snake shouted as he relayed what Jean had projected to him. “Jean and the others will meet us there, then we turn and dust these bastards,” he snarled.
“Now we are talking,” Abigail responded with a smirk anticipating the fight.
“How do you know where Jean and the others are?” Tonks asked with a quick glance at him.
“She told me through some kind of mind speech,” Snake answered. “I don’t understand it myself, but I heard her voice in my head telling me where they are and that help will be there,” he explained as best as he could.
Tonks frowned at the response, not sure she bought it. She knew about magic that could do something similar, but from what she had seen Jean wasn’t a witch. Deciding that in the end it didn’t matter if Snake was right and help would be there, because soon they were going to tire and then it would be over for them all and she had no intention of dying. She had a husband and a son to get back to and a war to help win.
“Run as fast as you can, we have to reach the others quickly,” Snake told them. “Or we won’t be in any shape to fight,” he added at their looks.
Spike paused for a few moments as he watched their pray speed up. He frowned and was wondering where the hell they were heading. Something felt a little off here, but he had the numbers on his side. The he quickly took off again, he didn’t intend to let this bitch escape as she had already shown him up once before. He intended to not only feed from her, he intended to break her before he finished her. Hell he was also thinking of turning her and making her his and Dru’s personal slave, the very image made him tingle. The idea of a Slayer being at their beck and call would be wonderful, granted she didn’t have the kind of body he liked in his female turnings. But just the fact she was their slave would give them an even better reputation in the undead community, hell they would go down being as famous as the only vampire to enslave and turn a Slayer.
Janus watched as the powers and the elders tried to explain their choice to ignore God’s plans and implement their own, he shook his head at the stupidity of such a move. Better to have kept their mouths shut and try and play it off as a simple mistake, of course that wouldn’t have worked as well. It was a relief that he and the other old god’s didn’t have such responsibilities for the Earth Plane anymore, which didn’t mean heads were not going to roll for this mess. Chaos it seemed in this instant had woken the higher powers up to what their assigned agents had been up to, while they had been busy elsewhere.
“SILENCE,” Metatron roared as Gods anger spiked. “You dared to ignore our plans and implement your own, which, if not for Janus’s act of chaos, would have destroyed many of our chosen champions,” he shouted. “That would have turned many of them over to the side of evil if even for a short time, which would have rendered them unable to love or trust ever again,” he ranted.
“Love is unimportant in the war against evil,” one of the powers stated boldly, making Janus shake his head in complete disbelief that any of them would dare to argue with God.
Metatron stared at the power that had dared to interrupt him or seen as he was speaking for God herself, then he had just interrupted God. The nerve of the powers was truly shocking to him. Had they really been so blind to their swelling ego’s and warped beliefs? Behind him he could hear a sword being drawn, glancing back he noted Loki, the former disgraced Angel of Death now restored to his post after a rather trying event in Wisconsin, move forward. The powers paled and quickly tried to back away, only to find more Archangels behind them.
“One more word out of any of you unless asked and Loki has orders to remove you permanently,” Metatron warned. “You have, in your arrogance and stupidity, almost handed the Earth Plane to Lucifer and his ilk, and I’m still waiting for an answer as to what made you think you knew better than God?” he continued.
“The Earth Plane was under our purview and we decided that the plans set down were flawed, the idea that each of our champions needed a companion and even friends seemed a destination to failure,” the lead power said, stepping forward after taking a deep breath. “We have seen for thousands of years how emotions have turned many of our chosen to evil, they turn their backs on their destinies out of simple anger,” he continued. “So we decided to eliminate that need by destroying those emotions within our chosen champions, it was to be our grand experiment,” he stated to which the other powers nodded in agreement.
Even Janus and the other old gods were shocked by the arrogance of the powers response, sure they had played fast and loose when the Earth Plane was in their hands, but they had always obeyed the plans God had put forward. They knew what awaited them should they have disobeyed, it seemed the events down below would have even more far reaching consequences that he had ever imagined.
“Loki? Dispose of them all,” Metatron ordered with a cold hard glare. “Not one power is to leave this hall. I will deal with the Elders another time,” he added as he turned to the waiting Angel of Death who bowed in response.
Since being returned to his post he had done everything God had asked, he had learned his lesson after being exiled for a thousand years or more. Stuck in Wisconsin with his old friend Bartleby, they had tried to defy God and get back into heaven or more to the point Bartleby had while Loki had been pulled along for the ride unable to argue his friend out of it. Had they succeeded they would have destroyed everything. Loki had died after becoming human trying to stop Bartleby who had completely lost his mind. God had decided the former Angel had learned his lesson and proved he still believed in her, by trying to stop Bartleby even though he knew he would fail as no human could stop an Angel. Loki had been restored not only to life, but restored to his post as the Angel of Death. Bartleby however had done to much damage on the Earth Plane and only at the end as he faced God repented. Thus he remained dead and while Loki mourned his lost friend he hadn’t argued God’s choice.
“Please my lord we meant no harm,” the lead power argued as he heard the order.
“NO HARM,” Metatron roared. “You fools almost got them all killed and turned Earth over to Lucifer,” he spat. “I will not give you another chance,” he told them.
“No,” the powers shouted as Loki and the Archangels advanced on them with their swords drawn.
“Janus, I want you and your fellow gods to follow me,” Metatron ordered. “We have plans to put in place to stabilize events down below using your act of chaos to our advantage, and we will need all of you to help,” he told them. “As for you Elders I suggest you go back to your hole and hide, I will deal with you lot later and if I find out you have done things on the scale of the powers mistakes you will join them in oblivion,” he warned, turning to the group of Elders who were watching with pale faces as the Archangels began to cut down the powers. They bowed and quickly ran. Janus wondered what God would make of the Elder’s recent actions.
Metatron turned to face God, who was still surrounded by three Archangels who then turned and exited the hall. Janus quickly followed, wondering how God would stabilize the Earth Plane. Glancing back as Loki eagerly cut down the disgraced powers, he hoped never to end up on God’s bad side.
Logan ran as hard as he could intending to be where Jean had told Snake they would be, if they were not then Snake was dead as was Tonks and Abigail. The others paced him well and overhead Storm, Jean, Rogue and Rachel flew. He wondered what it would be like to fly under your own power, he had flown before while in the grip of Ororo’s and Jean’s powers, but never his own. Shaking his head at such a ridiculous thought especially right now, he needed to focus although he was grateful he had such stupid thoughts instead of thinking about what had happened between him, Jean and Betsy. That would come later. He dared to pray the two women would still want to be around him.
“We’re almost there,” Ororo shouted as she took in the overhead view. “I see three people running towards us, and they are followed by a five other people,” she reported through their com system each X-Man had in their uniform.
“There are more closing in on them from the flanks,” Jean added as she stretched her senses out. “They are going to end up being surrounded if those flankers get in front of them,” she warned.
“Then you three go ahead of us and help them,” Scott ordered as he considered his options.
“Take me too Red,” Logan put in as he glanced up at the red head who now looked down on him before nodding her head. Suddenly he felt himself lift up into the air, seeing Scott shake his head before they left the others behind, he couldn’t help but chuckle.
He knew Scott hated anyone acting out of turn, he was the team leader and he liked to be in control of what action they took. But sometimes instinct and gut reaction was what was needed to win the day, and he knew deep in his heart if they were to have any hope of holding against such a large group of vampires then they needed him with them.
Snake skidded to a halt as he saw vampires come pouring out of the side streets in front of them, they were cut off he realized. He pulled the gun Abigail had given him just as she pulled her bow and notched an arrow. Tonks knelt next to them with her wand and quickly muttered something he didn’t hear. But he did see the wall of fire that seemed to burst from the street behind them, he glanced down at her and she shrugged.
“It will at least delay them while we try and take out the ones in front of us,” Tonks told him to which Snake nodded in agreement. It would indeed cover their rear while they fought the vampires in front of them. He just hoped their help was close by.
Spike smirked as he came to a stop to see that his prey was now cut off from any escape, the wall of fire in front of him was an annoyance and clearly showed they had a witch with them. “Give yourself up Slayer and I will spare you friends,” Spike shouted as the rest of his lackeys began to show up. “Refuse and we will feed and turn every last one you call friend,” he warned, hoping to use the Slayer’s fear for her friends against her.
Behind the wall of fire Abigail and the others exchanged confused looks at the vampire’s words. Who the hell was the Slayer and what did she have to do with any of this? Abigail felt a tightly controlled fear inside her which was unlike her. She aimed her bow at the leader and unleashed her arrow. Spike seeing the attack coming reached out and pulled the nearest lackey in front of him, the unlucky vampire had a few moments to understand what had happened before the bolt slammed into him and he dusted.
“Not a bad shot Slayer, but you missed,” Spike said in a taunting voice, ignoring the looks from the other lackeys who knew how expendable they were to their leaders and well used to it.
“Guess that answers that, my host must be this Slayer person,” Abigail said as she turned and quickly unleashed an arrow the other way as the vampires in front of her closed in on them. Tonks fired two fire flames and cutting curses while Snake waited a few more moments for them to get closer, then he opened fire as well already aware he would run out of ammo before all the vampires were dust.
“Don’t even think of trying to bargain with the fucker,” Snake told her. “He won’t keep his word even if you did surrender,” he pointed out with a serious look.
“I know, believe me I know,” Abigail responded, trying to hide the fact she had been considering it even if it went against everything she stood for. “Odds?” she asked.
“Not good,” Snake answered just as something seemed to fall from the sky and smash into a group of vampires closing in on them.
It took only seconds for them to realize it was Logan who in a whirling dance of death began to dust vampires left and right. Lightening seemed to explode downwards from the sky heading for the rest of the oncoming vampires as did fire balls as if sent by a vengeful god. Looking up they saw Jean and two unknown women actually floating in the air. The scene, had it been any other night, would have been shell shocking. Spike growled as he saw victory suddenly turn against them, he knew the costumes he was seeing on more of the Slayer’s friends, but he also recognized the other two women. Clearly far more had happened here than he had imagined, it had drawn the damn X-Men here. Still he had a chance to kill the Slayer and he had to take it.
“Take them down, I will get the Slayer,” he ordered as he charged forward, knowing he would be obeyed even if the lackeys hated the order.
The vampires swarmed forward intent on reaching the enemy and finally feeding on fresh blood as they had been promised. Before they could reach the edge of the fire wall which was now fading they were attacked on the left side by two beings they didn’t recognize.
“Vae Victus,” one of the beings shouted as he brought a weird looking sword down on one of the vampires and cut him in half. The other had a glowing sword on his arm and cut through another, stunned by the attack a group of vampires reacted and moved to meet this new threat.
The rest of the X-Men soon arrived on the scene as did many other things, demons called by the scent of human prey and vampires unaligned with Spike wanted the pleasure of killing the Slayer and her friends. Also called to the area were more of the transformed people affected by Ethan’s spell, a battle was coming that would forever alter events on the Hellmouth.
9. Chapter 9
The Mayor looked up as Alan, his aide, all but ran into the office without knocking first, something that annoyed him greatly. But he knew Alan wouldn’t have done it without reason. Alan was a good aide who knew his place in the grand scheme of things, he was also aware of what would happen if he ignored the Mayor’s orders.
“I take it there is some trouble Alan?” he inquired pleasantly.
“I’m afraid so sir. The seers you have on retainer are going nuts,” Alan reported. “They report events currently set in motion by the chaos mage Ethan Rayne will have consequences for the Hellmouth beyond what they originally believed possible,” he explained. “At this moment in time a huge fight is beginning in the middle of town. Something has drawn vampires, demons, the Slayer and her group and nearly all the transformed people to it,” he continued, worried how this would turn out as well as if he would get the blame. “Our spies are watching from the rooftops, they say the X-Men are also here,” he added fearfully of how this news would be received.
The Mayor leaned back in this chair as he digested all this, hearing the X-Men were in town worried him greatly. The mutants were powerful enemies from everything he had seen on the news, as well as his own private investigations into them. He made it a point to know all he could about any potential enemies, and if they knew what he planned then he knew they would try and stop him. Something was going on here. He could feel it in his bones. But there was little he could do, except wait and see where this went. And if it this endangered his plans to ascend, then Ethan Rayne would pay with his life.
“Tell our spies to keep an eye on things, I want to know the outcome of this battle,” The Mayor finally ordered with a sigh. “We will have to let this play out I’m afraid, and hope it doesn’t disturb my plans or the town to much,” he added to which Alan nodded before taking his leave and leaving the Mayor to his thoughts.
Janus watched as the battle begun, thankfully God had already foreseen such an event and was using her own powers to call in all those transformed people who could and would aide them. The other gods and goddesses were helping in that aspect right now, the amount of demons and vampires coming out of the woodwork made this battle an important event that could turn the war either way. He cursed the Powers for their stupidity for bringing matters to this head. He hadn’t realized they had caused such damage. Maybe he hadn’t been paying enough attention, Loki stood off to the side now watching and waiting for new orders.
The center of the street was now filled with vampires and demons, as well as the X-Men and other transformed people of Sunnydale.
“Watch where you aim that damn sword Jack,” Hector snarled as he brought down another vampire as he fought side by side with his on/off friend and enemy.
“Sorry my aim is a little off,” Jack responded with his usual mad grin. “Must be that rum we consumed before we got called here,” he called out as he fought off another lunging vampire.
“Called by what though?” Hector shot back, still not understanding how they ended up running into this battle.
“No idea mate,” Jack shouted back as he jumped out of the way of another swipe at his head. “But a fight is a fight and this one is shaping up to be a good one,” he added.
“Ay it is that,” Hector agreed, having grown tired of trying to kill Jack which he knew was impossible as they were both under the curse of Cortez. In this fight the enemy did die at least.
Across from them the X-Men concentrated on the demons that had shown up, with the help from the others who had turned up they believed the vampires would be easier to handle. The demons on the other hand were far more dangerous. Scott knew Storm and Logan would prefer to fight the vampires, but they had obeyed his order to take down the demons.
“Kain, behind you,” Raziel, his former lieutenant and firstborn son shouted and Kain heeded the warning and vanished in a cloud of mist, as a huge fist came down where he had been.
Kain, the leader of the vampiric empire of Nosgoth, reappeared on the other side of the demon that had tried to kill him. Snarling he raised his arm which held the ancient blade the Soulreaver and charged, intending to put this demon down for daring to attempt to kill him. He jumped upwards as he brought the blade down in a cutting arc and watched in satisfaction as it cut deeply through the demon’s skin. The demon roared in anger and pain and quickly lashed out at him, but Kain was faster and jumped over the arm. Turning he then brought down his sword and this time cut the demon’s left arm clean off.
“Stop playing with him Kain and kill him,” Raziel shouted at him in annoyance. Before turning and using the spectral Soulreaver to decapitate another vampire which lashed out at his throat. He watched it turn to dust and shook his head in disgust at them. “These things dare call themselves vampires?” he spat.
Hearing Kain’s distinctive laugh he turned and watched as his creator and destroyer removed the demon’s head in a splash of blood, for all their problems with each other he couldn’t help but marvel at Kain’s power.
“These things are not vampires Raziel,” Kain responded as he looked around. “At least not vampires as we know them, just as this world is not Nosgoth or these bodies actually our own,” he added with a frustrated shake of his head. “Someone is playing with our fates, and when I find out who I will make him suffer,” he vowed.
“And how do you expect to find this person?” Raziel inquired as he watched the battle unfold.
“I will find him Raziel, but for now we have a battle to win,” Kain responded before turning back to the matter at hand. “Let us show these creatures what true vampires are capable off,” he told him before launching himself forward and transforming into his wolf before charging another vampire and tearing into it with savage brutality. Raziel quickly followed, swinging his spectral blade before him and unleashing a bolt of energy from it, ignoring the fact that he was no longer a true vampire as Kain called them.
Abigail was pushed back as the platinum vampire tried again to bring her down, whatever this Slayer person was it was clear this vampire wanted her dead and badly at that. She executed a flawless back flip before lashing out with her leg, it caught the vampire in the face and made him stumble back, but he quickly rebounded.
“You seem to be lacking your skills in slaying Slayer,” Spike taunted her as he took careful note of how weak the Slayer’s attacked seemed to the last time they had fought. “In fact you seem to be not truly yourself,” he added with a smirk.
“Shut up vampire and die,” Abigail snarled as she attacked again forcing him backwards as he went on the defensive causing Spike to snarl in anger as she wasn’t as helpless as he had believed.
Across from this fight was another as two teenagers with what looked like laser swords cut through a rather large chaos demon, as the blond haired teenager turned he saw three vampires come at him and quickly raised his hand and unleashed a force push at them that sent them flying backwards.
“Not bad Skywalker,” the dark haired teen stated. “Your skills are impressive, but not enough to match the power of the dark side,” he added.
“Give it a rest Vader,” Luke Skywalker growled in response and with a shake of his head. “This fight isn’t about us or the Emperor or even the Rebellion vs. the Empire,” he spat. “It is about destroying these creatures, whatever the force they are,” he reminded him.
Vader contemplated that before nodding in agreement. To be honest he was still trying to get used to be in a body not stuck in a life sustaining suit and without the injuries that had condemned him to that suit. He had the full potential of his force powers once more. He could leap and jump and even run all he wanted and it felt wonderful. It almost made him think of the Clone Wars and the times when he fought side by side with Obi-Wan, his former best friend and Master. Raising his own hand he unleashed a barrage of force lightning into another of the beasts. It shrieked in agony as it began to fry. Vader increased the power of the lightning and watched in amusement and interest as it died a smoking carcass, never before had he been able to generate that particular power due to the injuries he had sustained in that final fight between him and Kenobi.
“Interesting,” he mused aloud as he turned the power on an approaching vampire and watched it turn to dust instantly. “Most interesting,” he mused again as Luke suddenly turned and slashed his lightsaber towards his head, feeling the warning from the force he ducked as something attacked his back. Twisting he watched as another of the creatures dusted as Luke’s lightsaber cut through it, turning back to his son he nodded his thanks.
Since being brought here, where ever here is, he had tried to talk to his son. But old grudges die hard and it seems Luke hadn’t forgiven him for cutting his hand off at Bespin, nor had he forgiven him for torturing his friends, especially Leia Organa. It seems his sins would forever haunt him, of course being stuck in some strangers body wasn’t helping matters for him or Luke. Luke was concerned about the effect their presence would have on their hosts. Vader, if he was honest, didn’t care one bit. He was just enjoying being free of his injured and broken body, which was probably another reason his son had attacked him before they had felt the force call them to this fight.
“Thank you Luke,” Vader said before he turned and waded back into the fight, again fighting off memories of the Clones Wars and his former friendship with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Yeah no problem,” Luke responded shaking his head and wondering what Leia would think if she had been here to see him save Vader’s life. She’d probably think he was out of his mind, smirking he followed Vader back into the fight wondering what these creatures were, and why the force wanted them to help in this battle.
Logan grunted as he tore into the demon he was currently fighting, his claws ripped into the things neck with ease. He did his best to ignore the black blood that oozed out of it. Letting out a growl he finished decapitating the thing only to be flung of it by something hitting him hard in his chest. Rolling on the floor he let out a moan of pain as he felt his skin being skinned off as the uniform he wore didn’t have any coverings on his arms. Coming to a stop he pushed himself to his feet to find another demon standing before him, this one seemed to have the ability to use magic as in its clawed hands was a ball of fire.
“Ok punk,” Logan snarled. “Let’s rumble,” he roared as he charged the thing only to be bowled over by the ball of flame from the demon. Two more impacted him in the chest ripping into his costume and his flesh. He let out a growl of pain as it did so.
Jean and Betsy who were fighting side by side felt his pain rip through them, turning as one they spotted the demon closing in on Logan’s prone form and quickly moved to intercept it. The demon they had been fighting moved to follow, but was intercepted by Scott who unleashed a full powered blast from his visor. The beams ripped through the demon’s chest with ease and he watched as it fell dead to the ground.
As he moved to confront another a shout of “Taste my boom stick you deadite scum,” made him turn to see a man armed with a shotgun and to his surprise a chain sword where his left hand should be. He was beckoning a vampire to come at him. He watched as the man first fired his shotgun stunning the vampire before he lashed out with his chain sword armed hand and lopped its head right off. The smirk on the man’s face almost convinced Scott the man was insane.
“Watch your back,” Scott shouted as he saw another vampire come up behind the man.
Ash Williams hearing the shout turned and unloaded his second round from his shotgun and quickly decapitated the second vampire. He didn’t know what was going on here or where the hell he was, but he knew something akin to the Necronomicon being at work was going on. “Thanks for the warning,” he finally said addressing Scott.
“No Problem,” Scott replied, guessing the man wasn’t insane after all before seeing Emma in trouble and moving to help.
Ash watched him go before moving to engage some more vampires, as he moved he reloaded his shotgun with ease having learned to do it one handed over the years.
Tonks jumped out of the way of an oncoming demon as she and Snake tried to protect one another, but the rampaging demons and vampires made it very hard to do so. Snake knew he was almost out of ammo, but he kept shooting as much as he could. He took careful aim and ensured all his shoots went into the vampire’s hearts. Jean unleashed a blast of fire into the demons back as it advanced on Logan. Betsy ignited her psi-blade and imbedded it into the things head. The demon roared in agony as it felt pain unlike any it had known before as the blade sunk in, Logan already healing charged forward and sunk his claws into its chest. In a last desperate attempt to kill the human the demon unleashed another bolt of magic directly into Logan as he pulled away, letting out a cry as he was hit again in the chest where his skin was still healing. The pain was intense as he landed. Jean didn’t hesitate and fried the demon’s mind with her telepathy.
“Betsy check on Logan,” Jean ordered as she looked around the battlefield and noted the demons and vampires were slowly been exterminated.
Betsy nodded and moved to Logan’s side where he lay once again healing from the demon’s attacks. He was alive as she had known he would be. Logan’s healing ability could handle almost any wound, still that didn’t mean they didn’t care when he was wounded. She glanced up at Jean who looked a little pissed off if she was to be honest with herself. The red headed floated down to them and knelt on Logan’s other side, both then waited for Logan to wake back up.
Abigail winced as the vampire caught her in the side with a viscous back kick, which it then followed up with a palm strike to her face. This thing knew how to fight. She wished Blade was with her in this madness. Before Spike could launch another attack he was assaulted from behind as Spike came from behind him and knocked him to the ground.
Tonks was behind her covering her rear as best she could. However she was growing tired from the constant spell casting, even an Auror couldn’t keep casting spells for too long as it drained them of energy and the magical well within them.
Spike snarled as he was interrupted from his fight with the Slayer and by the damn Watcher at that, getting back to his feet he quickly attacked the one eyed man. Snake, freshly out of bullets, took the attack head on, before countering with an elbow into the things chest. A quick kick to its legs took it down to the floor. But Spike recovered quickly and lashed out with his own feet to knock Snake backward, jumping back to his feet Spike lunged for the unprotected man as Abigail was currently fighting off another vampire and Tonks was distracted by a demon. Just before Spike reached Snake a sword imbedded itself into his chest. He let out a scream of pain as he took in the features of his new enemy.
“Vae Victus,” Kain growled at the weak impersonation of a vampire now impaled on the Soulreaver. “Woe to the conquered,” he spat as he pulled the sword out and brought it around in a cutting arc as Spike could only watch in horror as the sword cleaved him in two before he dusted.
Kain smirked as the vampire was destroyed, turning he noted the few remaining vampires turn and flee. Clearly he had been correct and the platinum haired vampire had been the leader of them. Now that it was dead they had fled for their unlife.
“Thanks,” Snake said as he helped Abigail up from where the vampire had flung her in its bid to escape after seeing Spike killed.
“You are welcome human,” Kain responded as he headed off to help defeat the remaining demons still attacking them, missing the frown Snake aimed at his back for his chosen words.
“Who was that?” Abigail asked as Tonks joined them, looking even more tired after helping Rachel and Rogue take down another of the demons as it approached their position.
“No idea, but from his words I doubt he’s human,” Snake responded with a deeper frown.
“Hey, he helped us Snake, so he is at least on our side,” Tonks cut him off before he could say more. “He saved you and Abigail, so that counts in his favor too,” she added.
“To be honest, looking at him I’m guessing he is one of the possessed running around like us,” Abigail suggested as she rubbed her wounded side where the vampire had caught her with its claws.
Logan’s eyes snapped open as his healing factor finished knitting his chest back together, noting Jean and Betsy beside him made him almost think he was in heaven. But his senses told him otherwise, letting out a growl he sat back up and noted the battle was winding down. Still there were some demons left, getting back up he popped his claws and intended to wade into the fight. Jean reached out and stopped him. He glanced at her with a raised eyebrow.
“They have it handled Logan, we may need you at full strength later on,” Jean told him. “Rest,” she ordered.
Logan glanced back at the demons who were slowly being whittled down by the other possessed fighters in combination with the X-Men. Seeing his red headed love was correct he chose to follow her command and retracted his claws.
Scott unleashed another beam from his visor and watched as another demon was cut down just as it tried to kill his daughter, from beside he saw the gun touting nut job fire at another not that his shotgun did much damage. He had to be crazy to go against a demon with just a shotgun and a chain sword Scott thought. He noted another demon being cut into bloody pieces by two more sword wielding people including one who kept shouting ‘Vae Victus’ every so often. Of to the other side from him were two more people who looked dressed from one of the Star Wars movies. Their lightsabers easily cut down another of the demons while Storm fried the last of the things with a huge lightning bolt that left a foul taste in the wind.
“Is that it?” Scott shouted out.
“I think mate they are all dead,” Jack said as he came forwards cleaning blood from his blade.
“Ay I don’t see any more of the critters,” Hector agreed as he took a look around the battlefield.
“I see nothing from the air Cyclops,” Storm reported from above.
‘I sense nothing left but us Scott,’ Jean projected into his mind making him wince as it had been so long since she had done so. He noted for the first time the psychic bond he had shared with Jean was absent, he wondered how that had happened. Had it happened when Jean died or had she broken it when she had come back? He just didn’t know, nor did he have time to find out right now, he reminded himself.
The group of warriors seemed to converge on him and he wondered what he could tell them, they still had to find the person behind all this. Would they help in that search?
“Tell me human, do you know how we came to be in these bodies?” Raziel inquired as he crossed his arms over his chest.
“Magic brought us here Raziel,” Jean responded, sensing his thoughts. “We intend to track down the person responsible and make him reverse it, until we do we are all stuck here in bodies that are not ours,” she added.
“How do you know my name woman?” Raziel demanded as he glanced at Kain who looked intrigued by the information given.
“It would be hard for some of you to understand as you come from worlds vastly different than our own, I sense that in one or two of your worlds there is no such thing as magic,” Jean answered calmly. “But we each have our gifts, while we search for the person behind all this I need you and some of these others to go to a warehouse, inside you will find more of these creatures,” she told them. “They need to be destroyed,” she stated. She had read Spike’s mind just before he had been dusted, she knew the horror Drusilla would unleash on their hosts in retaliation for Spike’s death, even as weakened as she was, thus she had to be destroyed as well.
“And why should we do this for you my lady?” Kain inquired as he leaned on the Soulreaver. “I’m still unsure why Raziel and myself were called to this battle, this is not our world,” he stated.
“No Kain, it is not, but until we find the source of us all being here then you can’t go home to complete your destiny,” Jean responded in the same tone of voice Kain had used. “Hence while you are here you might as well do some good. You are the Guardian of Balance, so you should understand about bringing balance to the world,” she added. “These vampires and demons have unbalanced this world due to their numbers, cutting them down as we have here will help in bringing balance back to our world,” she told him as the others all looked on in confusion.
Kain stared at the woman for a few moments before he grunted his approval of her words. He wanted to reclaim his destiny of the Balance Guardian which was why he had sacrificed Raziel all those years ago. Something his first born son was only now beginning to learn, until they returned to Nosgoth neither of them could reclaim their destiny.
“Very well, I will do as you ask and remove this blight if you will be good enough to tell me where they are,” Kain finally responded, only to almost jerk backwards as a flood of images poured into his brain. Frowning he quickly understood what she meant by having gifts of her own. ‘How interesting,’ he thought. He almost smiled as he noted Raziel’s surprised look at his agreement to help them.
“Come Raziel, we have one last fight to rage here,” Kain ordered as he turned and walked away.
Raziel could only shrug and followed his former leader. All the while he wondered why he kept staying his hand against him.
Logan watched as everyone, bar Tonks, Snake and Abigail followed the one Jean had called Kain. A quick glance at Jean made him realize she had hit them with a psychic suggestion to follow and help him. Turning he noted Scott and the others watching Jean as well so they must have caught on as well.
“Where did you send them Jean and more to the point who did you send them after?” Emma inquired with a frown.
“The platinum haired vampire’s lover, weakened though she is after a mob attack she would unleash hell on our hosts for the death of her lover,” Jean answered with a quick glance at the blond. “I intend to have Kain and the others remove her from contention before we fix this mess,” she added.
“So what do we do now?” Rogue inquired as she leaned against Gambit.
“We find the costume shop and its owner and finally get the answers to why he did this,” Betsy was the one who responded.
“But you don’t know it was him or her,” Kurt argued.
“No we don’t Kurt. However I believe it is this person as it is the only thing that makes sense,” Jean spoke up again. “Whoever did this had to know about what costumes people were buying so he could cast a spell to turn them all into them,” she continued. “It is has to be him,” she stated as confidently as she could.
“Doesn’t hurt to ask him Elf,” Logan growled. “Now let’s get going, we have work to do,” he ordered as he began to move out.
“What about the witch you encountered, Mom?” Rachel inquired causing Logan to stop.
Besty, Jean and Logan all shared looks that made Scott suspicious because none of them had said anything about encountering a witch. Something was going on between the three, worse Rachel knew what it was and was keeping it from him which was why she tried to keep him from going upstairs where Jean and the others were. ‘What were they hiding?’ he wondered.
“Considering what she said before she attacked us, I think we will encounter her near the shop,” Jean answered after a few minutes. “She wants to keep the body of her daughter she now controls, hence the only way for her to do that is to find the source of this madness and persuade him or her to alter the spell before it is broken,” she explained her reasoning.
“What witch?” Scott demanded to know. “None of you said anything about being attacked. Now what witch?” he repeated himself, but Logan just growled and began to walk away.
Jean and Betsy moved to follow him immediately as did Snake, Tonks and Abigail and Rachel who followed her mother. Scott and the remaining X-Men watched for a few moments before following, hoping Jean was correct in her assumption.
Chapter end notes:
Hmm let’s see who did Razial use in this fight and to which we didn’t disclaim the ownership so far off.
Luke Skywalker and Vader are from the Star Wars verse, which by now belongs to Disney (if that’s good or not remains to be seen. Minus points they already got with canceling Clone Wars and the Bounty Hunter game Lucas Arts was doing, no plus points for them so far.)
Jack Sparrow and Hector are out of Pirates of the Carribian which belongs to Disney as well.
Ash Williams is from the Evil Dead movies. No clue who owns them atm, but it isn’t us.
The here used God, Loki and Metatron are from the movie Dogma. No clue who owns them atm, but it isn’t us. Could be Kevin Smith.
Kain and Raziel are from the game series Legacy of Kain, which belongs to EIDOS if I remember correctly.
10. Chapter 10
(Ethan’s Costume Shop)
Ethan watched as the battle wound down with a frown on his face, he could hardly believe the X-Men were here in Sunnydale. That wasn’t something he had planned, still the fight had been highly entertaining. To see so many demons and vampires cut down in such fashion was impressive to say the least. Ripper had almost been killed if not for the intervention of that particular game character, much to his annoyance. He was of two minds about that as he wanted to be the one to finish Ripper for his betrayal, but seeing him killed would at least eliminate any possibility of him surviving to pay him back for this event. Having kept himself watching Ripper’s group since they split up, he couldn’t help but wonder what the other group had done. Clearly they were the reason the X-Men had come here, maybe he should have kept a closer eye on them. ‘Too late now,’ he thought.
Settling back into his chair after getting another cup of tea, he wondered where they were heading now. ‘And where was the second group heading?’ he wondered as they looked like people on a mission.
Janus smiled as the battle was won with an almost complete route of the enemy. This was going to change things on the Hellmouth indeed. Especially with the death of Spike and if the possessed Jenny Calendar’s plans went to plan and Drusilla was dusted as well, that would leave only Wilkins the first, second and third who wanted to ascend to a pure demon as a real threat on the Hellmouth. With Angelus/Angel already removed by the possessed form of Buffy Summers things should be safer for a short while, unless of course the underworld moved to counter these changes. Still there were other things to do now to bring stability to the Earth Plane. God had plans to put into place and they all had a hand in helping.
Drusilla screamed in pure rage as she became aware of the deaths of not only Angel who isn’t daddy, thus forever denying the return of Angelus, but also of her beloved William. The stars sang of bloody revenge, but she was still weak from the mob attack. Going out to find the Slayer would be a foolish idea, the lackeys Spike had led out hadn’t come back as well. The few remaining were needed to keep the lair intact, suddenly the stars shifted again as she sensed a newcomer enter her domain. She shuddered as she felt another presence press into her mind and she let out a scream as something entered her.
“Nosgoth burns Kain,” Drusilla spat as her mind for once clear of all madness as whatever had entered her forced her to speak. Her eyes began to glow green. “Your hopes to save it will fail,” she added as she heard the sounds of fighting within the hideout, telling her that they were not alone. She was no longer in control of her body, something far more powerful was and it scared her.
“I don’t fail,” Kain spat in response as he hefted the Soulreaver ready to strike being aware enough of the deceptively weak vampire before him in case she attacked. He was confused as to how she knew of him or his hopes for the future. There was something familiar about the green glow coming from the vampire’s eyes he thought. “I’m Kain the Scion of Balance and I will save Nosgoth,” he stated calmly as Drusilla, urged by the force within her and her certainty that the being before her had killed her lover, shot forward to attack him.
Raziel snarled in distaste as he cut down another vampire that dared to attack him, they were nothing like the vampires of Nosgoth. They were so much weaker than even the weakest of his brothers broods. They were easily dispatched he noted as Ash blew one’s head right off with his so called ‘boom stick’. Behind him Vader and Luke worked in tandem to cut down another three, their unusual weapons slicing through the vampires with ease. He looked around and noted the other possessed people had taken care of the rest of the filth, which left the leader for Kain and he didn’t doubt that his maker would succeed in killing her.
“I still don’t know what these things are, but I don’t like them,” Luke said as he looked around for anymore of the things.
“You wouldn’t be the only one kid,” Ash responded with a grin as he reloaded his shotgun. “Damn deadites just don’t know when to stay dead,” he added with a dry chuckle.
Kain ducked the wild swings from the clearly angered female vampire, as he suspected while she was weak due to the attack the green clad female had mentioned in her telepathic message, she was by no means unable to defend herself or attack. He lashed out with his foot, but she dodged it and struck out with her claws which raked over his chest. He had been in worse fights against much stronger enemies and so he quickly countered, forcing her backwards until she hit the wall. Smirking he used his own telekinetic power to smash her against it. This had the result of stunning her as her head was smashed into the wall with force. He quickly struck with the Soulreaver and imbedded it into her chest. He smirked as she cried out in pain as it was always a lovely sound to hear. “Vae Victus,” he taunted her.
“You will fail,” Drusilla snarled her green glowing eye locked on Kain’s as best she could as the blade dug deeper. “Nosgoth will fall,” she vented as Kain pulled the blade upwards at her words. As the pain increased and she realized she was about to die, the presence that had infested her withdrew leaving her to her fate.
“Woe to the Conquered,” Kain spat as he ripped the swords upwards and splicing Drusilla in half. Drusilla was given only a second to hope she would be reunited with her beloved William as well as Angelus and Darla as she dusted. Kain wondered if he and Raziel had been followed here somehow by their unknown enemy from Nosgoth. It would explain the vampires knowledge of him and his aims as well as the glowing green eyes.
“Did you enjoy that Kain?” Raziel inquired from behind him.
“She was a weak imitation of a true vampire Raziel,” Kain pointed out as he put the Soulreaver back into its holder tied to his back. “You should not feel any sorrow for her,” he told his wayward son.
“I feel no sorrow for that vampire Kain nor for any other vampire including you since you threw me into the Abyss,” Raziel replied heatedly. “As you well know,” he added more calmly making Kain laugh.
“Ah Raziel my son, you still don’t understand,” Kain said with a shake of his head. “But you will in time, come we have done our job,” he ordered.
Raziel frowned wondering what Kain was hinting at. “So now we wait for the others to find the source and reverse it?” he inquired. “I thought you wanted to kill him yourself,” he pointed out.
“I do Raziel, but this isn’t our world,” Kain shot back as they joined the others. “It is theirs and we should let them deal with the problem,” he told him. “We have our own struggle back home to deal with, our destinies await us Raziel,” he added with certainty leaving Raziel more confused than ever about his true role in Nosgoth’s fate and where he really stood in relation to Kain.
Across town close to where Ethan’s shop was Catherine Madison snarled as she fried another vampire that had tried to feed on her. She hated this damn town and had done for some time. The only reason she had put up with it was due to the high influx of magic she could call on from the Hellmouth. Her daughter had clearly been practicing and staying in shape as her body responded far better than it had done the first time she had possessed it. She intended to keep it this time, she would have the life she had intended to have before Buffy Summers and her friends stopped her last time. All she had to do was find the source of this wonderful spell and convince him to alter it, and her own magic told her the source was inside the costume shop she was heading to.
Also closing in on the costume shop was Logan and his now enlarged group, none of them knew the final confrontation was closing in on them all.
(Ethan’s Costume Shop)
Ethan was beginning to suspect Ripper and his friends were heading straight for him, getting up he quickly began to pack the few things he always kept with him before taking off. He frowned as he heard the bell of the shop door ring. He frowned a bit more as he had locked it before casting his spell. Preparing a defensive spell he moved out of the office, he knew it couldn’t be Ripper as they were still a street or two away. He came to a dead stop as he found himself facing off against a young blond haired teenager, but the power he felt from her was beyond what a teenager was capable off.
“So you are the one who has made it possible for me to once more take control of my daughter’s body,” Catherine mused as she looked him up and down. “I can feel your magic. It is strong, but I also sense you specialize in calling on one of the old gods,” she continued. “Janus I believe,” she added.
“While you reek of some serious dark magic,” Ethan shot back, wondering what she wanted. Was he in danger? He just couldn’t decide yet.
Catherine laughed aloud at hearing the response. “As if your magic is all clean white,” she spat, ending with a tone of disgust when she mentioned white magic. “You practice dark magic as well,” she told him with narrowed eyes.
Ethan smirked at her in response as he noted he was annoying her without even trying, he loved doing that. “So what can I do for you Miss?” he asked.
“Oh it is a simple thing,” Catherine responded. “I want you to tweak your spell before it is stopped so I can keep control of my daughter’s body,” she told him.
Ethan frowned as that was no small task, if it was even possible. Janus wasn’t known for allowing his followers to ask for more than had been already given. In fact doing so could end up costing you in the end, it had been a lesson he had learned a long time ago when he first began to follow Janus.
“Hang on right there witch,” a growling voice spat from behind Catherine and she frowned as she turned to find Harris and a bunch of other people now in the shop, including the blond bitch who had defeated her before and her warlock friend. “You aren’t keeping that body, it doesn’t belong to you,” Logan stated. “Plus we owe you for what you did to us,” he spat in anger. Catherine however just laughed at the expression of Harris’s face.
“It belongs to your own daughter,” Betsy pointed out from beside Logan. “How can you even think of taking it from her?” she demanded as the X-Men spread out.
“Because I deserve it,” Catherine snarled in response as she glared at Cordelia Chase. One of the cheerleaders she had tried to remove from contention the last time she had taken Amy’s body. She had at the time wanted to relieve her youth as a former cheerleader prodigy. Not this time, this time she would do greater things with her new life. “Amy squandered her body and her life, I deserve to have it,” she ranted. “You’ve got no right to stop me, do what I want warlock or pay the price of refusing me,” she spat while turning to glare at Ethan who was beginning to sweat a little as the large group of people now in his shop, including the possessed form of Ripper who he noted was glaring at him.
“We have every right witch,” Jean snarled in response as she sensed that the man before them was a warlock and the one responsible for causing all this.
Catherine glared at the blond haired Slayer who had stopped her the last time she had control of Amy’s body, her warlock friend stood behind her and she knew he was dangerous as it had been him who really had stopped her last time.
Abigail felt raw anger as she looked at the witch in front of her. She didn’t understand it, but guessed her host may knew this person.
Ethan grew nervous as he looked for a way to escape this confrontation, as it didn’t look good for him.
“Scott, the man behind her is the one who caused all this,” Jean stated glancing at her ex. “Don’t let him leave,” she ordered.
“Don’t worry he won’t go anywhere,” Snake was the one who responded and before anyone could do or say anything he pulled one of his pistols and shot Ethan in one of his legs.
Ethan cried out as the bullet ripped through his left kneecap. He clutched the wound as he fell to the floor. The pain was intense and beyond anything he had felt before. He did his best to stop the flow of blood as Ripper’s possessed form moved forward looking intent of shooting him again. Before he could get close Catherine struck, blasting Snake and a few of those closest to him flying backwards.
Logan snarled and charged, Jean’s mental reminder not to harm her body ringing in his mind. Catherine saw him coming and shot a fireball at him as she jerked out of the way. Logan couldn’t move out of the way as he had already committed himself to the charge and was struck in the chest. He was propelled backwards as his body caught fire and he screamed in pain as he felt the flames dig into his skin. Betsy having already been moving to follow Logan’s charge continued onwards and collided with the possessed teen, they both tumbled onto the floor.
Catherine snarled at the possessed cheerleader and did her best to kick her off, but Cordelia was no cheerleader right now, but a professional assassin and ninja. Betsy didn’t want to hurt the possessed teenager, but she needed to subdue her as quickly as possible, she ignited one of her psi-blades and raised her arm to deliver the knockout blow. Before she could bring her arm down Ethan shot his hand out and blasted her off Catherine.
The warlock decided his odds were better with the possessed teen than Ripper and his colleagues. Snake seeing this stalked forward and smashed his fist into the man’s jaw. Ethan screamed in pain as he felt his jaw almost break. He collapsed to the floor and remained there, he had no more fight in him and he dared not provoke Ripper’s possessed form any more than he had.
Logan charged Catherine again and this time he caught her as she tried to deflect Abigail’s attack. They went sprawling to the floor in a tangle of arms and legs. Logan wanted to pound this witch into the floor, but he was wary of doing any real harm to the body as it wasn’t responsible for what the witch was forcing it to do. Catherine took advantage of this and blasted him with another fire spell. Logan fell off her as he felt his skin burn.
Before Catherine could think of getting up Jean struck her with a psi-blast in retaliation for what she had done to Logan. She staggered backwards as she fought to stay conscious, but Jean hit her with a second blast which finally put the possessed teen down. Ethan pushed himself and decided to try to escape one final time as he saw the witch taken out but a gun was quickly shoved against his temple, glancing sideways he saw Ripper glaring at him.
“Try anything pal and you are dead meat,” Snake warned him.
“Don’t you dare kill him Snake,” Abigail warned him as she knelt next to him. “We need him alive to undo this, plus for some reason I don’t want you committing murder,” she admitted, feeling nervous and uneasy with how quickly Snake had resorted to violence with this man he wasn’t supposed to kill.
“Listen to your friend Ripper,” Ethan said with a grimace. “You wouldn’t want to put a black mark against your redemption kick now, would you?” he taunted as best as he could only to pale as three long claws suddenly appeared before him.
“You are going to answer every question we ask you pal or I’m going to chop you to pieces,” Logan warned him having healed from the witches attack. “Or my friend Betsy here can fry your brain open as she takes all the answers from you by force, or I’m sure our witch friend knows some spells she can do that will force you to answer them,” he continued to threaten him as he pointed first to Betsy and then to Tonks.
‘Logan,’ Jean’s mental voice said in warning.
‘Easy red, you know I am not serious,’ Logan responded calmly with a quick glance to where Jean stood.
“Shouldn’t we tie this one up?” Rachel asked as she pointed to the unconscious Catherine. “She wants quite a few of you dead. The last thing we need is her waking up while we get the answers out of that one and kill one of you,” she pointed out.
“Good call Rachel,” Scott said with an approving nod even as he cursed inwards for having failed to give that order himself. “There should be some rope around here somewhere I’m sure,” he mused.
Kurt and Kitty quickly separated from near the door and went looking for some rope. “Now why the hell did you shoot him?” he demanded moving over to Snake and poking his finger at him only to quickly stop as Snake aimed his other pistol right at him.
“Because for some odd reason I really hate this guy,” Snake answered dangerously, he didn’t like been talked to like that by anyone. “And we were asked not to let him escape,” he added. “Quickest way to ensure he can’t run is to take out his ability to run,” he stated in a more calm tone.
“He knows you Snake or at least your host,” Jean spoke up after doing a quick scan of Ethan’s mind.
Scott stood still staring at Snake trying to work out a response to his statement. “They have a long complicated history it seems, but he is the one responsible for us all being here,” she told them all as Kurt teleported back to where Catherine lay still unconscious and began to tie her up with the rope he had found.
“Why did he do it Jean?” Ororo inquired, hoping this madness at least had a point. If not she was going to be extremely annoyed, especially as she knew some people probably died during the night events, especially as vampires were involved.
“He did it just for fun and to please his patron god Janus,” Jean answered taking the answers from Ethan’s mind as she knew he would never answer them, unless forced to by one of Logan’s suggested methods. And she didn’t want to see any of those used as it would only cause trouble between the X-Men.
As the years had progressed there was some within the X-Men who had begun to grow wary of the long fight for acceptance, some had grown tired of being constantly attacked and had started to believe in a more aggressive response to some of the threats they faced. Scott was a firm believer in the nonviolent approach, and he hated it when any of the others seemed to step over the line into pure violence. All it did was cause endless arguments, arguments that would never be won as both sides had the right of it.
“FUN,” Ororo growled enraged at the answer as the night sky suddenly exploded into a violent storm. Rain pelted the shop windows as lightning and thunder rumbled. “Do you have any idea of the deaths you have caused?” she demanded as she stepped forward looking for all the world as if she if she wanted to fry him with a lightning bolt. “Or the lives you have damaged?” she added as Ethan cringed at the furious look on the woman’s face, especially the eyes which were now completely white.
“Easy Ro,” Logan said moving to calm her if he could. He knew how badly Ororo took senseless deaths. He almost flinched as the weather goddess turned to him, the pure white irises of her eyes seeming to pin him in place. For a few seconds he almost thought she would hurl some lightening at him, but her eyes finally cleared and she nodded at him before turning her glare back on Ethan. The storm outside died down, but it didn’t stop.
“How do we stop this madness?” Scott demanded to know after checking to ensure Ororo had calmed down.
“Before you get down to that we need to talk,” an unknown voice said, causing them all to turn to see a badly dressed pimp looking guy leaning against the far wall.
“Who the hell are you?” Kitty inquired with a frown. “And how did you get in here without anyone seeing you?” she added as she had been watching the door with Kurt after he had tied up the unconscious witch.
“He smells like a demon,” Logan stated popping his claws.
“Easy pal, I’m no threat to you or your friends. My name is Whistler and I used to be a balance demon for the Powers that Be,” Whistler said quickly, knowing the short temper of the feral mutant.
“And exactly what are the Powers that Be?” Rachel inquired, glancing at her mom who looked as confused as the rest of them.
“They used to be one of the groups who monitored the Earth Plane, created by God to guide and manage our forces in the war against the underworld,” Whistler answered. “And yes before you ask there is a God, you X-Men know one side of the war against evil, well your friend’s host bodies fight a totally different one,” he continued.
“Why should we take anything a demon says at face value?” Kurt inquired with genuine curiosity. “What exactly is a balance demon?” he added a second later.
“Not all demons are evil kid. Some of us just want to live our lives like any human does and some of us have joined the opposite side in the war, because if the underworld ever wins the war then hell is unleashed on Earth and we all suffer when the true demons come forth,” Whistler answered seriously. “Some of those demons who joined the war effort became balance demons for the Powers, ensuring their plans were enacted and maintained and dealing with any problems that might arise,” he explained and was relieved when Logan finally retracted his claws. “What no one knew or suspected up there was that the Powers had decided they knew better than God and ignored all the plans she put into place and decided to enact their own,” he went on really wishing he had a drink.
“If you are going to tell a story, then please would someone do something about my leg before I bleed to death?” Ethan moaned intrigued despite himself, but beginning to feel the effects of blood loss. Tonks let out a sigh before kneeling down and casting a battlefield healing spell Mad Eye had taught her. Ethan let out a sigh of relief before he felt Ripper place his pistol into the back of his neck.
“Don’t even think of moving worm,” Snake growled out before turning back to the so called balance demon.
“So what you are saying is that these Powers decided to play God with the world right?” Rogue asked to which Whistler nodded in agreement. “I take it their plans were not good ones?” she continued to ask.
Whistler snorted as he recalled what had just happened to the Powers for their actions. “That is putting it mildly kid. The Powers didn’t believe emotions especially love to be something their champions needed to serve their needs,” he told them. “Hence they put plans into place that would in the end strip their champions of those emotions, basically killing their ability to feel,” he informed them in distaste. “Your friend’s hosts have already felt the effects of some of those plans,” he added.
“Why them?” Betsy inquired.
“Don’t you already know who they are Betsy?” Gambit asked from beside Rogue.
“No, we’ve not been able to make any mental contact with our hosts although I do believe they might be aware of some of what has been going on,” Betsy answered with a shake of her head. “So we don’t know who they are or what they do, but taking what Whistler has said they have some knowledge of the real world,” she went on, to which again Whistler nodded again at her assumption.
“The six of you who were transformed by the spell are part of a small group of people who fight vampires and demons here in Sunnydale. The group is centered around the small blond currently inhabited by Abigail,” Whistler told them.
“Why is it centered around her?” Tonks asked, taking in everything being said and wondering why they were told all this.
“She is what is called a Slayer, the one girl born to destroy vampires,” Whistler answered, knowing this part wasn’t going to go down well. “Usually the Slayer is a fourteen to sixteen year old girl, she is chosen by a process controlled or at least it was controlled by the Powers,” he explained before going quiet as Logan popped his claws again, looking very angry.
“Are you telling us these Powers threw young girls into the fight against vampires without any choice in the matter?” Logan asked calmly, far too calmly for the normally aggressive and emotional feral mutant. “How many died cause they didn’t know what happened to them, how many died horrible deaths because some supposed higher being decided to play god with them?” he snarled before leaping at Whistler who had begun to sweat as Logan talked. He vanished and re-appeared behind Scott and glanced at the glaring feral.
“Easy Wolverine,” Scott ordered even as appalled as he was at the idea of teenagers fighting vampires, he kept his temper while they were talking. Plus this Whistler wasn’t responsible for the fates of these so called Slayer’s.
Jean and Betsy moved almost at the same time and intercepted Logan before he could go after the balance demon again. The X-Men watched in surprise as with just a gentle touch on Logan’s chest from both women the angry feral began to calm down. Only Rachel was aware of the three way mental conversation going on between the three mutants. Logan was pissed at the idea of young girls been forced to fight vampires from what Rachel could gather, not that she or the others weren’t either. But if one was to say Logan had a weakness then it was his concern for children being forced into violent acts, it was one of the reasons he believed in Xavier’s dream to stop such things from happening.
“Hey if it makes you feel any better God wasn’t any happier about it than you are, and the Powers paid for the arrogance and the blood on their hands,” Whistler quickly told them. “She had Loki and the other Archangels wipe them out, not one Power that Be exists anymore, which is why I said they used to be one of the groups that looked after the Earth Plane,” he explained as quickly as he could.
“Do you mean God didn’t know about young girls been used as cannon fodder?” Snake inquired as even he found the idea of teenage girls fighting a war distasteful and wrong on so many levels.
“God has been busy dealing with things in the wider galaxy. Which is why she created the Powers that Be and those like them in the first place to look after the Earth Plane,” Whistler shot back. “There are so many things going on in the universe, things that would make your heads spin, except maybe yours,” he added nodding towards Jean at the end. “The Powers took advantage of her being distracted and focused elsewhere, but believe me they paid the price for their deception,” he assured them.
“Is anyone else’s head feeling like exploding?” Kitty asked as she struggled to take all this in. It was such a life changing experience, to learn God actually existed and then all this other stuff. It was mind blowing. Kurt and a few others raised their hands.
“One thing I want to know is why are you telling us all this?” Abigail inquired. She was feeling way over her head in all this. She knew evil existed as she had seen it face to face, but to be told that God, the ultimate expression of good existed as well. Well it was truly making it hard to know what to think, her world view had been tilted on its axis.
“Good question goldilocks,” Whistler said with a nod of his head and a smile glad that the conversation could now be shifted away from such hot topics, which had the tendency of stirring such hostile emotions. “The answer is that everything that has happened tonight wasn’t supposed to have happened. The Powers had specific ideas of what costumes you were supposed to wear and what would happen during this event,” he told them. “But Janus is the God of chaos and chaos as I’m sure your feral friend there knows, can’t be controlled, it can’t be planned and made to act to anyone’s will, not even the Powers,” he explained with a smirk. “Your trouble making warlock there, by an act of chaos, changed all the outfits he was going to use, hence screwing up the plans the Powers put in place,” he continued. “The effects of that change got bigger and bigger, beyond what even Janus could have suspected till it gained the attention of God herself, thus bringing to light everything the Powers had done,” he paused here as he again recalled the fate of the Powers and shivered as he imagined Loki coming for him. “Once she dealt with the Powers, God decided to put new plans into motion using the changes Janus’s act of chaos had caused to stabilize the Earth Plane,” he stated.
“How does that relate to us?” Jean asked, wondering where this was all going. For some reason she couldn’t get a read on the demon’s mind, it was shielded and she suspected that neither Rachel, Betsy nor Emma could read him either.
“Part of that plan is to allow Alexander, Janna, Cordelia, Buffy, Willow and Giles to keep your powers and skills when the spell breaks,” Whistler answered, having a good idea how they would react. “They wouldn’t keep your memories just your powers and skills,” he added.
“No offense bub, but our powers and skills came at a price,” Logan grunted in response. “A price we pay every day because most of the world hates us for what we are, and you want to turn three people into mutants for your agenda without asking what they want?” he demanded as he began to growl again, feeling his anger stir up again. Jean’s hand in his squeezed his to draw his attention away from that anger. She saw his point and from the expressions on the others face so did they.
“Logan has a point,” Scott conceded with a sigh. “As much as we wish the world was accepting of mutants, most are not,” he said, running a hand through his hair. “But we were born into that world, you can’t just change people into mutants and have them face a world they didn’t chose or were born into,” he told the balance demon. “A world that would hate them for their very existence, you can’t force that on anyone and I don’t care who you are or represent,” he stated with his own glare.
Whistler smirked before looking up seemly at the celling of the shop. “See told you that would be their response,” he said making a few of the watching group think he was insane before a tall man appeared in a suit with short black hair and a prominent nose.
“You weren’t the only one Whistler,” Metatron responded, having suspected it himself. He also suspected God had known as well, but as usual she wouldn’t tell them one way or the other, she liked to keep them all guessing. “To calm your problems with this plan, I’m to allow you to discuss it with your hosts,” he explained, turning to the watching group and more to the point the six possessed people.
“So it will be their choice and theirs alone?” Tonks asked relieved.
“Indeed,” Metatron responded with a quick nod of his head. “Once the choice is made between you all then you will be brought back out of your minds to tell us that choice,” he told them as he moved closer. “I suggest someone gets ready to knock out your insane witch there, she is about to come back too,” he warned and sure enough Catherine began to moan as her mind came back on line from Jean’s psi-blast.
Betsy looked down in distaste and no little anger and quickly ignited her psi-blade and plunged it into the witches head; Catherine gave a shudder as her mind was shut back down. “I hope once we break this spell, then the girl she is possessing will get her body back,” she said, still unable to believe a mother would want to steal her own daughters body.
“She will and maybe if we are lucky with a greater understanding of how dangerous magic can be,” Metatron responded with a glance down at Amy’s unconscious body.
“Her daughter is a witch too?” Tonks inquired with interest.
“Yes she is and a powerful one at that Miss Tonks,” Metatron answered with a sigh. “Unfortunately she has no one to teach her, except her mother’s old books. She has already begun to be tempted to use her gifts for the wrong reasons,” he told her.
“Can’t anyone from this Slayer’s group help her?” Snake inquired, uneasy to be discussing something he had once believed to be nothing but myth and fairytale.
“Good point,” Whistler spoke up with a smile. “I’ll make sure to mention it to them once this is all sorted out,” he suggested to which Metatron just nodded.
“Are you ready to talk to your hosts?” Metatron asked while the X-Men shifted a little unsure on how to act here. They all looked to Scott as the team leader. He gave the sign to just watch, this was Jean’s and the others choice.
“Me first bub,” Logan stated before stepping forward. No way was he going to allow this unknown guy to do anything to Jeannie or the others without him going through it first.
Metatron raised his hand and a bright light engulfed Logan. He seemed to freeze as the light washed over him. Jean almost took a step toward him but forced herself to stay still. She ignored Scott who was watching her carefully.
11. Chapter 11
Logan frowned as he found himself suddenly in a brightly lit space. Sensing a presence behind him he turned to find the young teenager whose body he had been in possession of. The kid looked partly confused and partly amazed as they stared at one another. Logan wondered if he knew what had been going on for the last few hours.
Xander could hardly believe he was actually meeting a bonified hero, mutant or not, the whole experience for him had been strange. He had seen everything that was going on, but couldn’t control his body, or interact with Wolverine while he was in control of his body. The most disturbing and if he was honest arousing thing had been the threesome between him, Phoenix and Psylocke even if it had been his, Jenny’s and Cordelia’s bodies. Never in his life did he ever expect such a thing to happen, what he was most angered about was there had been no choice for any of them because that bitch Madison had cast a damn lust spell on them. Jenny and Cordelia were going to be pissed, Cordelia even more so if she was a virgin and he believed she had been. He was fearful of how this would change things once everything went back to normal. What the hell was he going to say to them?
“You okay kid?” Logan’s voice broke him from his thoughts. “Do you have any idea what’s been going on?” he asked.
“Oh yeah I know,” Xander responded with a nod of his head. “I saw everything that happened, but I couldn’t do anything to alter it. I screamed into my mind, but you couldn’t hear me,” he added as Logan winced at his answer.
“I’m sorry kid, I’ve probably made your life ten times harder by not being able to resist that damn spell,” Logan apologized, not something he usually did but in this case he felt he owed it as this kid was innocent.
“Catherine Madison is insane, but she is powerful, we barely beat her the last time,” Xander told him with a shrug of his shoulder, not really wanting to discuss the lust spell and its consequences. “As for the rest of it, I’ll deal with it as best as I can,” he said as confidently as he could.
Logan could sense that the kid didn’t want to discuss the spell or its after affects, he couldn’t blame him either. “So what do you think about the idea of being given my skills and more importantly my mutant powers?” he finally asked, deciding to get down to business.
Xander crossed his hands over his chest as he thought over everything that had been said by Whistler and his unknown friend, it sounded like everything he had thought about the war was way off base. It also sounded like things were changing. He had always wished he had a power or gift to help Buffy and the others when on patrol. Now he was been offered that very thing, but also he knew that Wolverine’s healing ability was a double edged sword, Wolverine had been alive even longer than he even knew. He had seen a dozen friends and lovers die while he always remained the same. ‘Did he want to have that kind of life?’ he asked himself. In the end it came down to a single choice, and he wanted to be able to offer everything he could to the fight.
“I agree, if I’m to really help in this war I need skills that can help the others,” Xander told him finally. “I need to be someone they can count on, I need to be able to help them fight so I will take what is offered and I will deal with any of the downsides of your powers as they come,” he stated as confidently as he could. “I have friends to help me,” he added.
Logan just nodded in response seeing the kid was serious. He wanted to fight in the war against the demons and vampires. He was committed, that Logan could see from the look in his eyes. “If you need help or training just give me a call,” he told him as he put his hand out and waited for a second before Xander reached out and shook it. Before either could say a word, the white light flashed over them and Logan found himself back in the shop with the others.
“Logan, are you okay?” Betsy inquired moving a little closer to her friend.
“I’m fine Betsy,” Logan assured her with a quick smirk in her direction. “Nice trip,” he added, turning back to the unknown man who just nodded in return before moving to Jean and repeating the process.
Jean blinked as she found herself elsewhere. Taking a look around it didn’t take her long to see someone standing off to the side watching her. She was dressed exactly like she was except she had black hair. Smiling she quickly realized this was her host. Her smile faulted a little as she wondered just how much of tonight had her host been aware of, events had become complicated thanks to that witch and her lust spell. Was her host aware her body had been used in a threesome without her consent? The consequences of that event for her host and her friends could be damaging to their friendship.
Jenny was, to be frank, amazed to be staring at Jean Grey, alive and in person. A mutant hero and a legend along with her allies in the X-Men, hell the night she had witnessed while stuck in her own mind had been surreal to say the least. Of course the main bone of contention was the lust spell and its consequences, which she knew could have far reaching affects for her, Cordelia and Xander. If either she or Cordelia ended up pregnant then it would cause even more problem, and could spell the end of their friendships. It was a mess, but she couldn’t focus on that right now, that can of worms would have to be dealt with later once the spell was broken.
“Hello,” Jenny finally said. “It’s nice to meet you,” she added as she moved closer.
“Likewise,” Jean responded with a smile before deciding she had to ask the question that had been bugging her now they were face to face. “I have to ask, have you been aware the whole time I’ve been in possession of your body?” she inquired.
“Yes I have and more than likely so were the others,” Jenny answered with a sigh, worried by what would happen when the spell ended. “I know it was out of your hands Jean, but that lust spell is going to make matters difficult between Xander, Cordelia and me,” she admitted.
“I’m sorry,” Jean said and she meant it. “We didn’t mean to make this difficult for you. I should have been faster in realizing she was a threat,” she added with a frown.
“Sometimes even the best skilled and experienced person can be beaten to the draw. It wasn’t your fault and I’m sure the consequences of that action will not be too harsh for me and my friends,” Jenny responded as confidently as she could.
Jean smiled as she could sense the unease in her host, but she could appreciate the brave front she was putting up.
“I guess we should discuss what we are here to talk about, shouldn’t we?” Jenny said after a few seconds, deciding to change the subject before it got any more uncomfortable.
“You are correct,” Jean agreed. “You are aware taking on my powers and skills will not be a simple walk in the park?” she warned her host. “I’m Phoenix, and I’m still learning just what that means,” she added.
“I know and it means I will probably go through the same trials as you did, well clearly not the same ones but similar,” Jenny agreed with a nod of her head.
“Not only that, but you will mostly likely be resurrected if you are killed like I have been. You will live a very long time,” Jean warned wanting her host to be aware of just how much a strain of being Phoenix could be. “You will watch all your friends and loved ones die,” she warned her with deep sorrow etched in her tone.
“All but one,” Jenny whispered in reply, just loud enough for Jean to hear her.
Jean heard her and paused as she realized who she meant, a fond smile passed over her. Thanks to Logan’s healing ability she knew he would still be with her even after a dozen years had passed, it was a comforting thought. And if Logan’s host chose to accept his mutant powers then he too would have Logan’s talent for fighting the passage of time.
“Yes, all but one,” Jean agreed. “So what is your choice Janna?” she asked, deciding they had best move this along. They would have plenty of time to talk once this spell was broken and if she returned to the Earth Plane.
Jenny blinked when she realized Jean knew the truth about her, including her real name.
‘Yes I know Janna, and you will have to tell the others the truth in time,’ Jean’s projected into her mind.
Jenny looked away knowing she was right, but she was fearful of the reaction to the truth. “I will take what is been offered as it will help us survive what is to come. I know that so far we’ve been lucky,” Jenny answered after a few seconds, deciding to put the truth about her real reason for being in Sunnydale aside for now, there would be plenty of time for it to be dealt with. “Things will get worse, the more abilities we can call on the better the chance of surviving will be,” she added to which Jean nodded in agreement before they were bathed in a white light and Jean was suddenly back with the others and Jenny was gone for now.
“You back with us Red?” Logan asked from behind her, but she didn’t jump as she had already sensed him.
“Yes Logan I’m back,” Jean answered with a soft smile, intended just for him.
Abigail had been watching from the middle of the group and she decided she wanted to go next, she wanted answers from her host about the vampire she had killed. Thus she shot forward before Metatron could reach Betsy; the look on her face said it all. Metatron just took her move in stride and repeated the process once more.
Betsy glanced at the short blond in a little irritation before shrugging and waiting her term.
Abigail only had a fraction of a second to react as she saw something come at her from the corner of her eye, ducking she missed having her head taken off from a lethal kick. Turning she found her host moving to follow up her attack, the look in her eyes deadly. This more than answered the question concerning the vampire, which just made her all the more sick that her host could be so damn foolish as to trust a vampire.
“You bitch,” Buffy screamed as she tried to kill the woman who had used her body to stake Angel. She had watched in complete horror as Abigail first kneed Angel in the privates and then followed it up with an arrow to his heart. She had watched as he turned to dust screaming within her mind and wishing it was just a nightmare. But she knew it was very real, her lover was dead and this bitch before her had made it happen.
“Calm down you silly girl,” Abigail spat as she dived out of the way of another kick. “You are trying to kill me for doing what had to be done, vampires can’t be trusted or fallen in love with,” she raged in response. “They are not pets, they are killers, plain and simple,” she pointed out as the girl prepared to strike again. “They kill, rape, pillage and destroy lives,” she snarled as all her hatred for vampires came forth.
“Angel was different, he had a soul,” Buffy growled as she tried to find the perfect way to attack.
“You poor deluded spoilt idiot,” Abigail shot back, unable to believe she had actually said that. “You think having a soul makes one good and noble? You think it stops you from being able to do evil?” she demanded of her host. “Have you not noticed all the wars going on? The murders, rapes and other evils that go on in everyday life?” she continued to hammer her question with intent. “Having a soul doesn’t stop one from doing evil, and a vampire is still a corpse,” she raged, unable to believe her host was so stupid. “The person they were died a long time ago, the body is ice cold to the touch and the blood lust always leads them to kill and feed,” she continued. “No matter if your vampire had fought it for a while, in the end he’d lose the battle and try and feed on you, but you have deluded yourself into thinking he is like any other human,” she went on. “Well you are dead wrong on all fronts, so get over it and forget him,” she finished with a glare.
Buffy glared back at her coldly, she hated this woman for what she had done to her and Angel, and she had killed him and stolen what they had. She was alone now with no one to lean on, no one who understood the pressure and horror of what being the Slayer was like. But try as she might, she couldn’t ignore some of what Abigail had just said. She hated each and every word out of her mouth, but the truth in those words struck her hard. Gritting her teeth, she felt the urge to attack again, but the fight seemed pointless now. Angel was dead, and this woman would soon be gone. Plus there was no telling if this meeting was happening in the real world, or just in their minds. Dropping her hands she backed off, the rage was there but she brought it under control.
“Finally seeing some sense?” Abigail inquired somewhat sarcastically.
“Angel was different, you killed him and for that I will never forgive you,” Buffy responded.
“Different only until the blood lust won out, or that supposed soul of his went bye bye,” Abigail argued straight back, wondering if anything would get through her thick skull about this. “You are supposed to be a Slayer, you kill vampires you don’t fall in love with them under any circumstances,” she told her. “By doing what you did, you risked not only your life, but your friends and your families’ lives as well,” she stated with complete certainty. “Tell me if it came down to a choice between your vampire and your human friends, who would you chose?” she asked, deciding to go in for the kill.
Buffy could only stare at Abigail as she tried to work out the answer to that question, from the look in the other’s eyes she had already failed to answer correctly.
“I’ve made my point, now will you accept the offer or not?” Abigail asked deciding there wasn’t anything else to say on the matter.
“Fine I’ll take your damn skills, I just want you gone,” Buffy spat in response, crossing her arms over her chest and turning away from Abigail as a white light washed over them both. When Abigail blinked her eyes cleared she found herself back in the shop and surrounded by the others. It had been a heated conversation to be sure. She just hoped her host would never be so foolish again.
“You okay Abigail?” Snake inquired who for some reason felt protective of the short blond.
“Yeah, just hoping I got through to her,” Abigail responded as Metatron moved onto Betsy and repeated his process once more.
“We can only hope,” Whistler whispered to no one in particular.
Betsy frowned as she looked around and finding herself suddenly elsewhere, but she quickly realized she wasn’t alone. Turning she found herself face to face with her host who seemed to be debating whether to be glaring at her, or to be cordial. Guessing the route of her host’s problem, she really didn’t know what to say to her. ‘How could you explain having your body used in an unplanned threesome anyway?’ she asked herself. Granted it wasn’t her fault or anyone else’s except the witch who had cast the lust spell on them in the first place, but that would be cold comfort for her host, especially as she had been a virgin and had been saving herself for someone she loved.
“I’m sorry,” Betsy began to say, but Cordelia cut her off.
“It’s not your fault. It’s that witch bitches and if I could I would drive you sai through her skull,” Cordelia snarled before she paced a little. “But it isn’t her body, its Amy’s and she is innocent in all of this,” she continued. “Ok my body was used against my will in a threesome and I’m no longer a virgin, but at least I can be thankful it wasn’t in some drunken orgy with some random people,” she vented a little. “I know Xander and Jenny must be feeling the exact same things I’m, the consequences of it will have to be dealt with especially as if I know Xander like I do he will blame himself for it,” she stated with worry.
Betsy could sense the concern for the male who had hosted Logan. She believed he would shoulder the blame if he was allowed to. A dangerous thing to happen, no one was to blame, but the witch. “I’m confident you and they can work it all out,” she told her host who finally stopped pacing and looked her in the eyes.
“Oh we will work it out, believe me,” Cordelia stated confidently as she looked the purple haired telepath over. “You have just a hard a problem to solve as we do,” she reminded her, causing Betsy to almost blush at the reminder that she had been in the threesome with Logan and Jean and that the consequences Cordelia faced were mirrored by the ones she would face once this spell was broken and they returned to the mansion.
“So what did you think of the offer?” Betsy inquired deciding they had better move their discussion along.
“Before this event I was just a fringe member of the group. I helped when I could or I guess felt like it,” Cordelia admitted with a sigh. “But I’ve been growing more and more distant from my so called friends. Xander’s group is far more a real group of friends than most I’ve seen,” she continued. “The closer I get to Xander, the more integrated I feel with his friends and I get more interested in helping them fight,” she added as she thought furiously over things. She knew once she made this choice, there was no going back and whatever ties she still had with her followers would be gone. Thinking of her growing connection with Xander, she made a decision. “I accept the offer,” she said as confidently as she could.
Betsy smiled and reached out her hand, Cordelia returned the smile and grasped her hand in a quick hand shake before a white light overtook them. Betsy blinked as she found herself back in the shop, just as quickly as she had found herself well wherever that was. Turning she noted the unknown man move to Snake and begin the process again.
Snake was to say the least startled as he now found himself elsewhere, the others were missing and he was no longer in the shop. Reaching down her gripped the comforting grips of his pistols as he looked around, he came to a dead stop as he found himself facing someone dressed like him, only without the eye patch and wearing glasses.
“Fascinating,” Giles said as he stared at the movie icon across from him.
The whole night had been full of surprises, granted being trapped in his own mind hadn’t been fun, but seeing movie characters and other things brought to life had been interesting to say the least. The high light of the night had of course been watching Buffy’s body actually stake Angel after kneeing him in the balls. Granted he didn’t kid himself that Buffy would be greatly upset once she got her body back, but he had to admit to himself he felt much better now that Angel would no longer be a factor in their lives. He should have done more to keep him from forming a connection with Buffy in the first place, but Buffy was unlike other Slayers, she refused to be controlled or ordered who to be friends with.
“So you are my host?” Snake finally said as he recalled what Whistler and the unknown guy had said was going to happen.
“Yes I’m. I must say while I can that it is a pleasure to meet you,” Giles responded with a smile. “I take it this night has been a shock to you?” he inquired.
Snake snorted at the understatement. “Yeah you could say that pal,” Snake said with a smirk. “Just hope once this thing is over I end up back in New York in my own body, cause then all I have to worry about are other people and they are easy to deal with,” he added.
“Don’t forget you also have to find the President within a certain amount of time before the poison in your body kills you,” Giles reminded him.
“Par the course for me,” Snake shot back not the least concerned about that problem as he was certain he would complete the mission in time once he was back home. “So the offer, yes or no?” he asked.
“Yes I accept as I feel having your particular skills will be of great help in the future,” Giles eagerly answered. Snake nodded in response as the white light washed over them. Turning he find himself back in the shop with some relief, he watched as Tonks stepped up to Metatron and repeated the process for the last time.
Tonks shivered as the white light left her blinking to clear her vision, looking around she saw a red headed girl looking at her with a huge grin on her face and if she wasn’t mistaken a little awe. ‘Clearly the young teenager had some clue as to who she was, why else would she dress up as her?’ she thought. Moving towards her, she quickly stunned into a stupor as the red head began babbling a mile a minute at her while shaking her hand vigorously.
Willow continued to talk as quickly as she could, not seeing that her rapid fire words were having little effect on Tonks who could only stare at her. Finally she seemed to realize she had been talking way to fast. Blushing she dropped Tonk’s hand and went quiet as Tonks began to recover from the rather enthusiastic greeting.
“So I’m guessing you are very pleased to meet me?” Tonks teased, unable to help herself making Willow blush some more.
“Very pleased,” Willow managed to mumble. “I can barely believe you are standing there,” she added.
“Join the club, one minute I’m on the floor with Bellatrix bearing down on me and the next I’m elsewhere surrounded by complete chaos,” Tonks mused in response. “It was the last thing I expected,” she added.
“When you go back, you will have to act as quickly as you can to stop yourself from being killed,” Willow told her, wanting her favorite Harry Potter character to have at least a small chance of saving herself as it had always killed her that she dies in the last book. Worst she left her son without either of his parents, not that Harry wouldn’t take care of him.
Tonks looked at her with a frown as she heard the genuine concern in her tone, what did she know about her fate that Tonks herself didn’t. Deciding to keep her hosts warning in mind when she went back after the spell was ended, what a weird experience this had all been. She wondered if she should tell Remus and the others about it when they got back, and if they survived the battle of Hogwarts. The again would she even remember any of this?” she wondered.
“So what are you going to do about the offer?” Tonks inquired moving onto the main reason they were meeting.
“Oh I’m defiantly in,” Willow said with a wide smile. “Been able to do magic will be so cool, plus it will help Buffy and the others so much,” she added.
“Just remember magic isn’t to be used for stupid reasons,” Tonks pointed out, a little unnerved by her easy acceptance and the tone of her voice about being able to do magic. “This is supposed to be so you can help your friends, not so you can be cool,” she added. “If you know anything about my world, then you know what people who thought magic was cool can do,” she reminded her as Willow flushed scarlet at the idea of her becoming like the Death Eaters.
“I want don’t want to use it for any reason, but to help my friends,” Willow promised her. “I swear,” she stated with as much conviction as she could muster.
“Good, well nice meeting you and good luck,” Tonks said with a grin as the white light flashed again and she found herself back in the shop surrounded by the others and Willow was nowhere to be seen. “Man that was strange,” she murmured to herself.
“It is done,” Metatron stated. “All of your hosts have chosen to accept our offer, they will keep your skills and powers,” he continued. “When the spell breaks, all of your will return to your own bodies and for those of you not from here, your own worlds,” he explained. “You have a choice to make as well Phoenix,” he stated turning to face Jean whose mind had already begun to think about what she wanted to happen now.
She knew what was in her heart and she also knew she had things to deal with both on the Earth Plane and in the White hot room. In the end her eyes were drawn to Logan who was watching her closely, she could see the tenseness in his form as well as his closed fists balled tightly as to draw blood. She glanced at Betsy and noted a similar tenseness in her as well. She had learned everything the Phoenix Master had wanted her to learn until now. Maybe taking a break in training and resuming her life was the next step in her evolution, closing her eyes she reached out with her senses and tried to contact the Phoenix Master. She heard the cry of the Phoenix in her mind, its tone joyous and calm. Smiling she took it as a sign as to what to do.
“I would like to stay on the Earth Plane, back in my body,” Jean said as she opened her eyes and faced Metatron again.
“Then when the spell breaks, that is exactly where you will find yourself,” Metatron told her before he turned and vanished, leaving Whistler where he had remained the whole time watching. He reappeared a second later to look at Logan. “When the spell is broken, your young friend will be cured of her vampirism, a gift from God,” he told him before he vanished again.
Logan stared at the small space he had occupied before a genuine smile graced his features. Jean and the other X-Men shared his happiness at the news that Jubilee would be cured once this mess was over. Jean knew more than anyone what this meant to Logan. Jubilee was almost like a daughter to him and to see her cursed with vampirism had been horrible as there wasn’t thing he could do to help her. She took his hand in hers and pulled him into a gentle hug, uncaring of the others watching. Logan smiled even more as he returned the hug as he realized the spunky young Jubilee he had first met years ago would be back soon enough.
“So now we get Ethan here to tell us how to stop the spell right?” Tonks inquired looking at the former balance demon.
“Yes it is all up to you now, good luck and you visor boy remind the Slayer and her friends to take Amy under their wing and teach her to properly use magic,” Whistler agreed with a nod of his head before he too vanished. Scott frowned at been referred to as visor boy, something he had hated as a teenager.
“So Ethan, how do we break the spell?” Snake inquired in a dangerous tone of voice. “If you don’t tell us then I will shoot your other leg, then your kneecaps and then something much more precious,” he warned him, much to Ethan’s horror as his gun was now aimed at his privates.
“Yo…You wouldn’t,” Ethan stuttered with what courage he still had.
“Don’t bet me punk,” Snake snarled back as Giles’s anger and hatred for his old friend surged forward. “Talk or suffer,” he stated coldly, ignoring the worried looks from Scott and most of the X-Men present.
“The statue of Janus in the office, break it and the spell will break,” Ethan responded after staring into Ripper’s possessed eyes for five minutes. It had been like looking into the fires of hell, he had no delusions that he would carry out his threat.
“Are we just going to trust what he says on the first go?” Rogue inquired, not certain it should be that easy. Not that she wanted to see the warlock being shot again. It had been a shock the first time and she could see how tense Scott was. She didn’t doubt that a second shot would start a fight between Snake and the majority of the X-Men.
“Emma, scan him,” Scott ordered, turning to the blond telepath next to him. Some of the X-Men glanced at Jean, who in the old days would have been the person Scott called on for that kind of thing. Jean however didn’t begrudge Emma, she had given Scott permission to move on and he had. She herself was finally free to attempt something with Logan. Hence she only felt some small measure of disquiet at how things had changed.
Emma placed a hand to her head as she focused on the warlocks mind. She easily bypassed into his mind and searched it to see if he had told the truth. She quickly found the answer she was looking for. Retracting from him in disgust at some of the more dark things she had seen in her mind.
“He’s telling the truth,” Emma told them all. “He is a disgusting piece of slime,” she added with a foul look at the man in question. “He is already thinking of ways to get revenge,” she told them.
Snake cocked the pistol in his hand and pushed it right up against Ethan’s head. The man shivered in alarm at the move and had to fight desperately to control his body’s reaction to it. “You are pushing your luck worm, you come back here and you are a dead man,” he warned him.
“So what do we do about him?” Kurt inquired as a moan from the ground caught his attention. “She is waking up again,” he pointed out. Betsy let out a sigh before she struck her psi-blade back into the waking witches head, and watched as she fell unconscious again. “
“We should put him on ice,” Logan growled out much to Scott’s annoyance. Jean glanced between the two, already sensing their long standing enmity rising to the surface.
“We don’t kill people Wolverine,” Scott stated as calmly as he could. “You know that,” he pointed out.
“This bastard caused all this for fun, people have died including children,” Logan growled out in response. “He has to be stopped from doing it again,” he told Scott in a glacial tone.
“I agree,” Snake said, pushing his pistol hard against Ethan’s head who finally lost control and pissed himself as he came close to been killed. He had ever expected his plans for Sunnydale to turn out like this. He was in deep shit here.
“Sorry, but no one is going to kill him and I’m afraid to say he won’t be punished either,” Whistler said as he returned, knowing this wasn’t going to go down well. “At least not this time,” he added.
“WHAT?” Ororo demanded as the storm outside suddenly picked up once more.
Whistler flinched at the noise as well as the pure white eyes now fixed on him. “Janus has asked for Ethan to be spared any punishment as he is his favorite follower, plus if not for Ethan then the plans of the Powers wouldn’t have come to light,” he explained, knowing he was very close to being fried or considering the look in Logan’s eyes, gutted. “So for one time only he gets cut loose, but if he comes back here or you find him sometime in the future, then he is fair game,” he went on.
“What about the people who died here?” Ororo inquired, hardly able to believe what she was hearing.
“Ethan will pay for those crimes when he dies. Believe me, he isn’t going to heaven,” Whistler assured the weather witch. “Sadly sometimes you have to work with scum for the greater good, you’ve done it before yourselves,” he reminded them all. “The world isn’t a perfect place, at least not yet and sometimes you have to work with evil people to get things done,” he continued with a shake of his head. “Ethan might think he is getting off easy, but somehow I doubt he will feel that way if you guys ever catch up to him again,” he told them.
“Then get him out of here before Wolverine or one of the others kills him,” Scott told him eyeing the enraged look in Logan’s eyes, who was been kept away from Ethan by Jean and Betsy. Snake was been pushed away from Ethan by Abigail and Tonks although none of them looked happy about what was happening.
Whistler clicked his fingers and Ethan vanished. “I know it sucks to let him go. Janus knows it will not be something easily accepted, but he feels Ethan should have some reward for bringing the Powers treason to light,” he explained. “Oh when the spell has been broken, look for the eight member of your group,” he advised much to their confusion.
“Leave demon and don’t come back,” Logan growled out.
“You better pray he doesn’t cause any more deaths for such senseless reasons,” Ororo added as she used her powers to stop the storm going on outside. “Or I will find you somehow and I will introduce you to the full wrath of Storm,” she warned before Whistler vanished, knowing he was lucky to get out without any blood being spilt.
“Unbelievable,” Abigail muttered, unable to believe anyone would allow Ethan to escape without any punishment. Strangely she felt her host agree with her.
“Calm down Logan,” Jean whispered as she ran her hand up and down his arm. “Ethan will get what is coming to him. He is to stupid not to want to come back here for revenge,” she told him with certainty. “When he does I don’t think he will survive what he unleashes, especially if we are here at the time,” she added as she knew from here on out the X-Men would be visiting Sunnydale.
Logan knew Jean was right. Ethan would come back and he just hoped he was here when he did so. If not then having met the kid whose body he controlled, he doubted the kid wouldn’t remove Ethan just as he would. And if not the kid then the man who Snake was possessing would do it, considering what Jean had said concerning the two of them.
“I’ve found the statue,” Gambit shouted, drawing all their attentions to the office. “Should I smash it?” he asked.
“Do it gumbo,” Logan ordered, just wanting to be back in his own body.
Gambit nodded and pushed the statue of Janus off its pedestal. The statue broke as soon as it hit the ground. Gambit was knocked over as a wave of energy exploded out of the smashed statue. It struck the seven possessed bodies before rushing out of the shop to the other victims of the spell. The other X-Men backed away as a portal seemed to open, before their eyes the Phoenix appeared in its full flamebird form before it shrunk until Jean stood before them in her own body. By her side to their surprise were Logan, Betsy, Hank, Rahne and Jubilee all looking confused a bit.
“May I inquire how we suddenly appeared here when only a minute ago we were in the med lab?” Hank inquired before noting Logan and Betsy were back on their feet. He stared at the two in shock, he had no idea how his two friends were suddenly back on their feet as if nothing had happened.
“Logan,” Jubilee cried, unable to help herself before she launched herself into his side and hugged him for all she was worth. Logan returned the hug and quickly sensed the changes in the young girl clinging to his side, she was human again. “Do you feel it kid?” he asked softly, making Jubilee look up at him in confusion as Hank tried his best to examine him and Betsy. “You’re cured,” he told her.
Jubilee blinked at Logan’s statement before she backed away and focused on herself, it didn’t take long for her to realize her heart was beating once more. Her skin was warm whereas only a few minutes ago it had been ice cold. Logan was right and she was no longer a vampire. Breaking down in tears she clung to Logan again, she could hardly believe her nightmare was over. The other X-Men rushed over to see their friend. She was pulled away from Logan and embraced by the others one by one. Xander watched and smiled as Jubilee laughed and cried as the others embraced her. All so very happy that she was human again. He wasn’t the only one watching events unfold, the rest of the Scooby gang watched as well.
Buffy was doing her best not to break down as the fact she would never see Angel again hit her for the first time since the spell had broken. Giles placed a comforting hand on her shoulder even though he had no sorrow for the loss of the souled vampire.
“I ask again how did we get here, and by my stars and garters how is Jean once more alive?” Hank inquired, having been ignored in the revelation of Jubilee’s new status.
“Magic, Hank,” Scott answered his confused friend. “All of it was the result of some heavy duty magic,” he explained. “Including Jubilee being human again,” he added.
“Oh my word,” Hank responded before moving to check his young friend over, wondering how the magic had removed the vampirism from her body.
How come Logan and Betsy are okay and back on their feet as well?” Rahne inquired, looking a little lost. “I mean only a few minutes ago they still were flat on their backs with no brain activity at all, then there was a flash of light and we are suddenly elsewhere and they are ok,” she added as best as she could.
“It was all down to magic Rahne,” Rachel told her friend, giving her a sideways hug. “Mom being back and Logan and Betsy’s loss of their minds, it was all down to a spell,” she explained. “We just ended it, which is why they are back on their feet as if nothing had happened, as to how you got here well that was down to magic as well, but not from the same source,” she continued.
“Then what source did bring us here if I may ask?” Hank inquired with interest as he relented to Jubilee’s attempts to stop him trying to examine her new status.
“We’ll fill you in later Hank,” Scott said, deciding they didn’t need to get into all that again just now. “For now it isn’t important,” he added to which his friend nodded in understanding even though he knew the information Hank wanted was mind blowing important.
“Where are Snake, Tonks and Abigail?” Willow inquired, looking around for them as she frowned before her hair changed from her normal red to a bubblegum pink making her smile.
“Willow you seem to have forgotten they don’t exist in this world, they are just fictional characters,” Giles answered with an amused smile at her question. Clearly she had gotten a little carried away by what had happened, and forgotten this simple fact.
“Oh yeah,” Willow said, blushing for making such an error to the amusement of the others. This had the side effect of turning her hair back to its normal color although a bit darker.
“I feel very different,” Cordelia muttered to Xander, doing her best to ignore the already rising feelings of uncertainty between them and Jenny who stood on his other side. She had to focus all her focus on keeping her mind from reaching out and reading the minds of those around her. It seemed it would take her time to learn to harness her new powers.
“I think we all do,” Jenny responded having heard what Cordelia had said, she could also sense the struggle Cordelia was having in controlling her telepathy. Thankfully she seemed to have a bit more control, maybe due to Jean’s role as Phoenix. “At least those of us who were possessed,” she said. “This will not be an easy thing to get used to Cordy, for any of us,” she told her.
“I can barely believe it happened,” Willow said, having moved closer to them from behind them. I mean for a couple of hours I was another person,” she said in a tone that told them she was amazed by the whole thing.
“Er.. guys what is going on?” Amy inquired, finally having been trying to understand how she came to be back at the costume shop.
“Long story Amy,” Xander answered with a smile at the young witch. “Do you remember anything that happened tonight?” he asked, wondering just what if anything Amy remembered of what had happened to her yet again.
Amy looked away for a few seconds before she nodded her head. “I remember all of it, at least at first I thought it was just a nightmare, but considering you are all here then it wasn’t was it?” she asked with a worried frown. “Mom somehow got control of my body again, didn’t she?” she asked.
“Yes she did and I’m afraid it was no nightmare Amy,” Jenny responded with a sigh, wishing she could tell the girl differently. “We will fill you in when we get back to the library. She assured her to which Amy nodded.
“Indeed, what I’m curious of is what did Whistler mean when he mentioned to be on the lookout for the eight member of our group” Giles inquired thoughtfully.
“No clue, but I guess we’ll find out Giles” Buffy responded.
12. Chapter 12
Daniel ‘Oz’ Osborne blinked as he seemed to come out of a long nightmare. A nightmare he knew had been very real. He had learned a very dangerous truth tonight. He now knew what had caused the high death rate in Sunnydale. He knew what had caused so many of his friends, and fellow school kids to be killed. He knew now that true evil exists. Raising his hand in which he still held the former replica of the Soulreaver blade, which was now very real. He had dressed as one of his all-time favorite game characters, Kain from the Legacy of Kain series. He had watched, locked away in his own head, as Kain had destroyed vampires and demons alike after taking control of his body, he had watched him do a favor for the possessed form of one of his teachers. Then near the end a white light had washed over him, and suddenly he had found himself face to face with Kain himself. His mind drifted to that meeting as he headed home. Tomorrow he decided he would confront the group he now knew hunted vampires to keep Sunnydale safe.
(Flash Back, Dreamscape)
Kain stared at the human male who was dressed as he was. Clearly something was going on here. Moving forwards he decided to talk to the human and see if he knew what was happening, the young human remained where he was and didn’t run. Before he could reach him, both stumbled as they both received a memory dump. They both suddenly knew exactly what was going on, and why they were suddenly face to face.
Oz could barely believe what was going on, for someone usually so stoic he was suddenly overwhelmed by multiple emotions and thoughts. Knowing the truth that had somehow eluded, not only him, but everyone else in Sunnydale was startling, but also truly horrifying. Now he was face to face with a vampire lord who had only existed in a game the day before. Now he had to take into account that maybe Kain was real in a dimension not unlike his own. He ensured he gave off no signs of fear as Kain approached him. This wasn’t something he was going to forget anytime soon.
“A dangerous gambit these higher powers are playing,” Kain stated as he looked him in the eyes. “Giving you my powers, my skills and more importantly my sword,” he added. “It would make you one of the most powerful humans in your world,” he pointed out.
“But I wouldn’t have your blood lust, or you will to dominate the world,” Oz shot back. “I will help fight the darkness, I will help protect my people,” he added. “I will also be cured of being a werewolf,” he told him.
That had been one of the most startling bits of the memory dump. He was a werewolf and had been since being bitten by his small cousin two months ago. This explained why he had woken up naked in various places for those two months. If he accepted the offer then he would be cured of that affliction, instead he would gain the ability to change into a normal wolf just as Kain could.
“Just remember what would happen should someone claim the Soulreaver from you,” Kain warned him.
“Over my dead body,” Oz shot back with a pointed glare. “All my enemies will get out of me is death,” he assured him “Vae Victus,” he quoted causing Kain to chuckle with his usual laugh.
“So you will take the offer?” Kain inquired as he crossed his arms.
“I will,” Oz replied with no remorse for his choice. He wanted to be able to help fight the darkness he now knew infested his town and more importantly the world. He also wanted to be cured of being a werewolf. Before Kain could respond, the white light washed over them and Kain found himself back in the streets of the unusual city he was in.
Oz knew his life would never be the same now that he had chosen to accept the powers and skills of Kain. He also knew he would have to ensure that if something happened to him that the others would take and bury the Soulreaver so it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Heading for his home, he wondered just what Harris and the others in his group would say when he talked to them tomorrow and revealed that even more had happened last night than they knew.
Xander sighed as he sat down after what had been a very stressful night, granted it wasn’t over yet. They had decided to cut any more conversations until they had rounded up all of the kids and got them back to the school for pick up by their parents, by the luck of God herself they hadn’t lost any of them to the madness that had engulfed Sunnydale thanks to Ethan’s spell. Snyder and the parents had been waiting for their return. It seemed none of the parent’s had noticed anything odd and quickly dismissed their children’s tales as just that tales. It still amazed him how blind they could be. The X-Men had returned with them still wanting to sort some things out. They had filled Amy in completely about the night’s events, as well as the truth of Sunnydale. To say the young witch had been shocked was an understatement. He glanced at Cordelia who sat next to him and could see the tension in her and glancing at Jenny he noted the same in her as well. They had a lot to talk about, but for now they had to focus on other things.
“So what happens now?” Buffy inquired while doing her best to forget about the loss of Angel for now.
“For right now I suggest you all go home and get some sleep, being possessed has to have had an effect on all your systems,” Hank McCoy answered with a calming smile. “I’m sure you are all beginning to feel the effects of the fighting you’ve been through, as well as the stress the possession has taken on your bodies systems,” he added.
“But before you leave I think it is clear we will have to return or have you come to the mansion,” Scott said from next to Emma. “Those of you who are now mutants will need help in learning to control their powers,” he said.
“Already offered my help in that boyscout,” Logan responded. “If the kid wants training, I will train him,” he stated.
“I appreciate it and I think I will need it,” Xander spoke up as he popped his own claws and winced at the sharp pain he felt as the adamantium claws came out. “Having your powers and skills means little if I don’t know how to properly use them, and while I have your knowledge in that regard, I can’t rely solely on memories which are not mine,” he told them with a smile.
“Why not?” Buffy asked.
“Because I didn’t learn them myself and hence my body might not react as say Logan’s would, you can’t just imprint things into people and expect them to be suddenly experts Buffy,” Xander answered.
“Xander is correct Buffy, imprinting memories have been used before by the council, the people used were ordinary watchers and they were sent into the field with the memories from black ops soldiers,” Giles said picking up from Xander’s explanation. “They were massacred because while they had the memories of the soldiers skills, they hadn’t learnt them for themselves or at least trained to ensure their bodies could react in such a way as the memories they’d had imprinted,” he explained as best he could. “Imprinting isn’t an easy fix to create warriors,” he stated.
“I’ll say I’m already having trouble keeping my powers under control,” Cordelia admitted as did Willow and Jenny. “I have to focus hard to ensure I don’t accidently start reading your minds,” she added.
“I can change little things like my hair color and length,” Willow put in. “But so far I can’t change my appendence or body shape,” Willow added with a frustrated sigh.
“I assume that will take time Willow, remember there is no one here who can actually train you to use your particular gifts,” Giles pointed out to her. “But with time and effort you should be able to do both, it will just take time,” he assured her.
Willow hoped he was right.
“They are correct of course,” Metatron said, appearing behind them all with a small smile. “You have the skills and powers, but not the experience to use them just yet,” he told them. He knew had they sent Whistler back here to explain this he would have been ripped to pieces, they hadn’t taken Janus’s request well which was no surprise. God hadn’t exactly been pleased by the chaos God’s request, but she realized that Janus was correct. Without Ethan, they would never have found out about the Powers that Be’s actions, hence she had granted Ethan this one escape. “You will need to train for them to be ingrained enough to use them in combat, so don’t be reckless Slayer now that your vampire lover has been disposed of,” he stated, concentrating on Buffy who growled in response at the reminder that Angel was gone.
“Bring him back,” Buffy pleaded.
“Sorry Slayer no can do. Liam is now at rest and we will not pull him out of it just so you can play with fire,” Metatron stated.
“Wait a minute, is Angel dusted?” Jenny inquired in shock. If this was true it meant her entire mission in Sunnydale was over, glancing at Xander she noted he was now watching her as was some of the others. They must have heard the tremor in her voice as she spoke.
“Yes Janna he was dusted by Abigail an hour ago,” Metatron responded, deciding this secret needed to be dealt with now if the group was to have any hope of staying together. Jenny paled as the unknown man spoke her real name.
“Why did you call her Janna?” Xander asked as he glanced between him and Jenny.
“It’s time for the truth,” was all Metatron would say. At this the entire group turned to Jenny who closed her eyes hoping this would turn out okay.
“My name isn’t Jenny Calendar, it is Janna Kalderash of the Kalderash tribe,” Jenny finally said, nervously glancing at Xander and Cordelia who were watching her closely. “I was sent here to keep an eye on Angel and ensure the curse that gave him his soul remained intact. My cover as a teacher including my age is false,” she added. “I was sent as this was to be my right of passage to which I would be claimed an adult within the tribe, but things didn’t go as planned as I became friends with you all and…,” she trailed off at the end as her eyes fixed on Xander’s.
“And what?” Giles inquired, but Jenny refused to answer as that was personal and concerned only her, Xander and Cordelia.
“So you are a god damn fake, just here to make sure Angel continued to suffer?” Buffy spat, jumping to her feet in anger.
“He was supposed to suffer you idiot girl. He killed hundreds of people as Angelus before he was cursed,” Jenny snapped back, not willing to be made to look like the bad guy in this. “He butchered seventy of my people the night he was captured, including the daughter of the tribe’s chieftain who he raped before he ripped her heart out,” she snarled as ever after a hundred years every member of the tribe despised Angelus for what he did. “Angel as he calls himself was supposed to ensure Angelus suffered for his crimes, although I think it would have been better had he been staked when he was captured,” she vented. “No one thought for one minute a girl would come along, let alone a Slayer, who would fall in love with the thing,” she went on.
“She has a point Slayer,” Metatron cut Buffy’s response off before she could even say one word. “You were not meant to fall in love with that thing, the reason you did so was part of the Power’s plans to strip you of the ability to love,” he told her, rendering her mute in shock. “Would have worked too, you’d never have been able to recover your ability to truly love had you given yourself fully to that thing,” he admitted. “Lucky for you chaos has a habit of changing things, it might take a little time, but you will find love again,” he assured her with a smile.
“She still lied to us,” Willow pointed out, unable to decide how she felt about the sudden revelation about her favorite teacher.
“No she didn’t, at least not by choice,” Cordelia argued. “She was under orders to come here and do this, which is different than coming here and lying just for the fun of it,” she added. “I’m sure if she had the choice then she would have told us the truth,” she said with certainty. Cordelia however was uncertain if she was defending Jenny or Janna, because they were friends or because of what had happened between them even if they hadn’t been in control of their bodies. It had changed things between all three of them. She just didn’t know how as her emotions were all over the place where it concerned her, Xander and Jenny/Janna.
“I agree, this is like soldiers or police going under cover and being unable to tell anyone the truth,” Xander agreed with Cordelia. “She had orders to obey, yet she still helped us at the risk of her own life,” he pointed out as he reached out under the table and gave her hand a quick squeeze in support. “I’m sure nowhere in her orders did it say help the Slayer and her friends keep the Hellmouth shut,” he said with a look at Jenny.
“No they didn’t,” Jenny responded, thankful at least some of the group was sticking up for her and that it was the two she was closest to at that as well. “The only thing that mattered to the tribe was revenge, they didn’t care that he had moved to the Hellmouth,” she admitted.
“But why?” Buffy demanded to know. “They had to know if the Hellmouth opened then we all die,” she added not understanding their point of view.
“Buffy my people are Romany, the one thing you should know about them is to never get on their bad side as they will make you suffer for it,” Jenny answered, glad to see the Slayer seemed to be calming down. “They are famous for their acts of revenge within the supernatural community,” she told them all.
“So what will you do now?” Giles inquired as the X-Men watched and learned what they could about their new friends and allies.
“Send my final report to the tribe, explaining why and how Angel was dusted, what they make of it I don’t know,” Jenny answered with a sigh. “But I won’t be leaving the Hellmouth if that is what you are asking, this is my home now and you are my friends,” she stated.
Buffy frowned, not really sure what to say to her, she was still hurting from Angel’s loss no matter what the unknown guy had told her. Learning Jenny Calendar wasn’t who she was supposed to be and had only come to keep an eye on her lover, well it didn’t sit well with her. But she understood being under orders. As the Slayer how could she not, did that make it right?” she wondered.
“I suggest you all turn in now. You’ve absorbed a hell of a lot of information,” Metatron advised. “A good sleep will put things in perspective,” he added before he vanished once more.
“Who is that guy?” Kitty asked, having been wondering about his identity since he turned up.
“I don’t know, but whoever he is he has some power within him,” Jean responded still getting used to being back in her own body. “But he is correct, we all need some sleep, we will return tomorrow to continue our discussion, although we have our own things to discuss before we come back,” she said turning to Xander and the others.
Before the group all stood up and began to say their goodbyes, the night had been long and they knew nothing had been sorted just yet, Willow mumbled, “I can’t help myself, but that guy reminded me of someone.”
The X-Men left first with Jubilee in the lead. She was as giddy as she had once been before she had been turned into a vampire. Giles decided to drive the others home so they would have a less chance of running into any trouble; it was a tight fit due to Giles old beat up car with Cordelia having to sit in Xander’s lap while Willow sat in Buffy’s. The trip was quiet as no one felt like speaking, Cordelia soon got comfortable being on Xander’s lap. She laid her head on his shoulder and began to slowly drift off to sleep. Willow was dropped off first and then Buffy herself who lived close by. Jenny was next and exchanged a quick heated glance with Xander before she exited the car. Cordelia had to be coaxed awake when Giles pulled up in front of her home, before she could talk herself out of it she kissed Xander goodnight with a soft simple kiss before quickly getting out of the car and running into her house with a quick backward glance at Xander’s stunned look at her actions.
Giles smirked before he pulled away and was pleased to see the two were finally passing the boundaries that had kept them apart. Finally he dropped Xander off and waited until the young man was safely inside before he headed for his own home and more importantly his bed.
Logan led the X-Men straight to the parked invisible blackbird, his nose able to pick up the smell of the engine fuel. He glanced back into the darkened night of Sunnydale as the others boarded. He could still smell vampires moving about, but he guessed they had cut their numbers down for a while. Turning he moved to board the plane to find Jean waiting for him at the top of the ramp, glancing at her flaming red hair and piercing green eyes once more he felt his emotions for her rush forward and he felt the usual urge to want to take her in his arms, but he held himself back. They had a lot of talking to do, him, her and Betsy before he could even think of things like that.
Jean gave him a small smile as she pressed the button to seal the ramp. She could sense Logan’s thoughts and would have been very happy to be taken into his arms, but she agreed that they had to talk before anything happened.
“We’re clear Scott,” she shouted up to the cockpit before she took a seat next to Logan and Jubilee, which still looked to be in shock from being cured of her vampirism. Rachel was on her other side and smiled at her, clearly pleased to have her mother back.
“Roger that, lifting off now,” Scott shot back, still finding it hard to look at his ex-wife in the eyes, even more so because she was once more back among the living. “Now will someone tell me what the deal was with that witch we ended up fighting?” he inquired, turning himself to face Jean, Logan and Besty.
Logan glared back at him and then shook his head. He had no intention of letting Scott know about what went down between him, Betsy and more importantly Jean. The man might now be in a relationship with Emma, but that didn’t mean he had completely left his past with Jean to rest especially where he was concerned. He wouldn’t be surprised if Scott was okay with Jean getting together with anyone, as long as it wasn’t him. Their long running rivalry where Jean was concerned was by no means put aside. Things might be different, but something’s always remained the same no matter how many years passed and he believed Scott’s aversion of him getting close to Jean was one of them.
“She attacked us Scott, which is why we were resting at the house you found us in,” Betsy said, simply having been relieved during the madness of their reunion and then the big fight no one had bothered to ask why they were in the house in the first place.
Scott frowned not believing Betsy’s simple answer, the glare Logan was still giving him told him as much. He almost turned to glance at Emma to see if she could get any answers with her powers, but Jean’s voice cut him off.
“Don’t even think about it Scott, our daughter’s threat of shutting Emma’s mind down if she attempts to snoop around in our heads goes double for me,” Jean told him in warning. “And I will not be as nice about it as Rachel would have been,” she added with a dangerous smile aimed at the blond telepath who glared back at the threat.
“I don’t believe it was a simple attack Jean,” Scott finally said as he turned back around, knowing he wasn’t going to get any answers just yet. “For now I will let it drop, but I will get the truth eventually,” he added with a shake of his head at their stubbornness to just tell him what had happened and thus missed the looks exchanged between Logan, Jean, Betsy and Rachel who all knew the truth. “We should be back at the mansion in an hour and a half, then I suggest we all get some sleep and in the morning we have a long talk about what has happened,” he told them as he let the topic drop. He rubbed his eyes already feeling like he wanted to collapse into his bed and fall asleep.
“Push the engines Scott, I want my bed,” Kurt groaned as he tried to get comfortable. “And I don’t think I’m the only one,” he added as Kitty who sat beside him tried to curl up against him.
“Sorry Kurt, you will just have to do the best you can,” Scott shot back with a grin. “We pushed it getting here,” he reminded him.
“Well do the best you can then,” Kitty responded before Kurt could as she closed her eyes and tried to imagine she was in her bed.
13. Chapter 13
(X-Mansion, next day)
Jean yawned as she awoke from a restful sleep, she had missed been in a nice soft bed. The only strange thing was getting used to being on her own once more. She had watched Scott quickly head for the room he now shared with Emma, but again she felt only a small amount of loss. Things had changed as they were prone to do, getting up she used the bathroom and had a quick shower before dressing, having borrowed some of Betsy’s clothes which fit her. She found Logan sprawled on the couch with Jubilee resting against him using him as a pillow, clearly the two had stayed up talking about her been cured and maybe about some of what Logan had endured while possessing Xander’s body. Smiling softly she left the two where they were, and headed for the kitchen. There she found Hank, Gambit and Rogue already up and a pot of coffee already waiting for her. They all greeted her with a smile, which she returned as she poured herself a cup and sat down.
“Did you see Logan and Jubes?” Rogue inquired with a teasing smirk.
“I did. I guess she was too excited to be human again and thus kept Logan up,” Jean responded with a fond smile as it was rare Logan showed his softer side.
“Did she ever, man I’ve never seen the girl talk so much, but I think we were all relieved to see her back to her old ways, instead of the sullen and angry person we’ve seen of late,” Rogue responded with a giggle before becoming serious at the end. “Logan just kept nodding his head at her. I don’t think he cared what she said or how late they stayed up,” she added. “He was just happy to have her back to her old self, by the time I turned in Jubilee was already snoring her head off,” she explained. “Logan must have decided to just let her sleep, and decided to stay with her once he got a blanket,” she mused.
“It surprised me when I came down and saw them,” Gambit said as he finished his cup of coffee. “It isn’t often that Logan lets his guard down like that,” he pointed out.
“No it isn’t, but when you’ve been through what he has then you can understand why that is so,” Jean responded as she began to drink her coffee.
Noise soon made them aware the rest of the mansion was slowly waking up. Knowing Logan wouldn’t want to be seen by some of the X-Men in such a comforting scene, Jean got up and headed back to the living room and touched Logan to wake him up. As soon as her fingers touched his shoulder his eyes snapped open and pinned hers.
“Thanks Red,” Logan said as he stretched, causing Jubilee who had been using him as a pillow to begin to wake up as well. Jean just nodded as Jubilee finally opened her eyes and sat up. Yawning the young girl quickly pushed the blanket away and shot of, clearly heading for the bathroom. Logan chuckled at her antics, just glad to see the old Jubilee back instead of the brooding and angry young girl he had seen of late.
“She will be okay Logan,” Jean told him as Rachel descended the stairs and quickly headed over. Jean turned just in time to catch Rachel as she launched herself into a quick hug. Jean smiled as she hugged her daughter and ran her hand through her hair. “Good morning Rachel” she said as she finally pulled away.
“Hey mom,” Rachel said, feeling so much better now that her mother was back. “I almost thought last night was a dream” she admitted.
“It was no dream little red,” Logan grunted as he got up. “Phoenix has risen from the ashes, your mom is back and here to stay,” he added with a smile for the young girl before he went to shower and change clothes clapping Rachel on her shoulders as she passed.
Jean watched him go, knowing that Logan hoped she would be here to stay for a long time. Looking back at Rachel she was surprised when she noted the teasing yet understanding look in her daughter’s eyes. Clearly Rachel was expecting something to happen between her and Logan and if she was reading her right, accepted it. Before she could say anything, Rachel ran into the kitchen leaving Jean to her thoughts until Betsy came down. Betsy came to a halt as soon as she saw Jean. They stared at one another not really sure what to say to each other just yet. Betsy finally seemed to regain some semblance of normalcy and moved forward, inside however her mind was replaying the events of the day before and what had transpired between her, Jean and Logan. Before she could say anything Scott and Emma descended the stairs.
Emma frowned at seeing Jean but did her best to not give herself away.
“Where’s Logan?” Scott asked as he looked around. “I want us to all have breakfast before we sit down and discuss some things,” he said.
“Logan has gone to shower and get changed,” Jean answered calmly as she ignored the way Emma leaned against Scott in a somewhat possessive way as if she was trying to stake her claim. Jean was amused at the blond telepath’s actions. It showed that at heart Emma Frost was very insecure.
Scott just shook his head and headed for the kitchen with Emma close behind. Jean let out a sigh before glancing at Betsy. She could see the questions in her friend’s eyes. She sent a quick telepathic message that they would discuss it after the group meeting. Betsy nodded her head in acceptance before pushing some of her purple locks out of her eyes, then after a quick smile she headed into the kitchen as well. Jean watched her go and for a few minutes found herself fighting the urge to look at Betsy’s ass. Blushing crimson she turned away to find Logan behind her doing the exact same thing. After a few seconds Logan looked up and caught her eyes, he could see she was nervous and more to the point confused about her sudden interest in things that had never caught her notice before.
“Things change Jeannie,” Logan whispered to her. “Sometimes they change in more ways than we can ever suspect,” he added softly. “A single act can have lasting repercussions and can change a person, make them see or act in ways they never had before,” he told her before walking away, but ensuring to trail his hand up her arm as he did so. Jean shivered at his words because she knew they were true. Had the lust spell opened her up to new experiences or other things she hadn’t thought to her liking before? Not having an answer she turned and headed to join the others, hopefully when she, Logan and Betsy talked she had some answers.
Buffy entered the school still reeling from the previous night’s events. The loss of Angel at her own hand had kept her awake for most of the night. She had seen again and again her lovers last moments, the look of betrayal in his eyes as she released the arrow into his heart. She had cursed Snyder for dragging her into the whole thing, but she couldn’t forget the words the unknown man had said to her about how she was never meant to fall for Angel. That it had been part of the plan by the Powers to ensure she would lose the ability to love. How she didn’t know and she dreaded to find out. While the pain of Angel’s loss wouldn’t fade quickly, she hoped when it did she would find love again. She let out a sigh as she entered the library to find Willow, Giles and surprisingly Amy inside, already waiting for the others.
“Hey Amy,” Buffy said in greeting after saying hi to her two friends. “I wasn’t expecting you to be here,” she added.
“I’m supposed to start learning how to use my magic the right way from Mr. Giles,” Amy responded. “After what happened last night plus what you all told me, I think I need to train to use it properly or I’m going to end up like that warlock guy or worse my mom, casting spells for fun uncaring of people dying,” she explained. The look in her eyes told Buffy that Amy was really worried about such an outcome, that Amy wanted to learn from Giles was a good thing in Buffy’s mind.
“Well welcome to the group,” Buffy finally said with a smile as she sat down just as the doors opened and an unknown boy walked in with spiky blond hair. “Er..can we help you?” she asked.
“Yes I believe you can,” Oz responded calmly with a nod of his head. “My name is Daniel Osborne but call me Oz and I remember what happened last night. More to the point I know exactly what happened and what is going on in Sunnydale,” he explained much to their shock.
Giles’s quick mind quickly leapt to the obvious conclusion. “I believe I know who you are, we were told to watch out for an eight member,” he responded. “Please Oz have a seat,” he said indicating to the table. “We are just waiting for three more people and then we can discuss a few things,” he added.
“Yeah where are Xander, Cordelia and Miss Calendar?” Willow inquired as she looked between Amy and Oz. She found it strange to have two strangers in the library.
“I haven’t a clue, but I didn’t see them on my way here,” Buffy answered as she leaned back in her chair.
In an unused broom closet Xander, Cordelia and Jenny stood facing one another. They had met at the entrance to the school and decided they needed to discuss things between themselves before facing the others, but so far none of them had found the courage to say anything. Xander was sweating as he stared at the two women he had feelings for. He wouldn’t say he loved them just yet, but he was damn sure if they gave him a chance then he would fall for them and fall for them hard.
Cordelia looked between the two as nervous as hell, last night she had kissed Xander and had felt a connection she had never felt with her previous boyfriends. She had slept deeply last night, but one thing that had repeated in her dreams was of the threesome her body had shared with the two people in front of her, and her focus had been just as much on Jenny as it had on Xander. She had felt herself grow hot at the very thought of doing it with them again, this time with them all in control of their bodies. Something had changed within her after last night, she just didn’t know if she could actually admit it.
Jenny was just as unsure as her two companions. Her night had been long as she tried to think of how to discuss this with them. Her imagination had played with her, showing her what could happen between the three of them. Or just with Xander alone, she had tried so hard to control herself but found herself lacking. She knew one thing though she wasn’t leaving Sunnydale, as she had said the night before, it was her home now and these were her friends. Hopefully the two in front of her would be more. She couldn’t help but want the whole thing which meant having both Xander and Cordelia as lovers.
“I think one of us should start this moving or we are just going to stay here staring at each other,” Cordelia finally said as she continued to look between them.
“I’m sorry,” Xander responded after taking a deep breath and hoping they would forgive him. “I tried to resist. I screamed at Logan to control himself, but it was like banging my head against the wall,” he told them. “I tried to regain control of my body, but nothing I did worked,” he added in growing agitation.
“We don’t doubt that Xander,” Jenny assured him. “I suspect we all tried to help them to resist, but the magic was too strong,” she continued with a shake of her head. “It wasn’t your fault Xander, the only one who is to blame is Catherine Madison and Ethan Rayne,” she stated. “What I’m more worried about is that one of us might be pregnant as a result of that act, as no protection was used,” she explained careful and watched as both Xander and Cordelia went pale. “I guess it hadn’t accrued to either of you then?” she asked as gently as she could.
“No, there was too many other things going on last night to think about such a possibility,” Xander replied. “And maybe I didn’t want to think about it,” he admitted with a sigh.
“Oh god,” Cordelia muttered in shock at the very idea of being pregnant after her first sexual experience, in control of her body or not. She felt her legs go a little shaky and Jenny quickly moved to help her, she could feel just how scared Cordelia was of this idea. “Easy Cordelia, the chances of you getting pregnant during your first time is slim,” she said, hoping to reassure her. “I just wanted to ensure that wasn’t the case,” she added.
“Oh god, but what if I’m?” Cordelia argued trying not to fall in hysterics.
Xander watched the two, frightened out of his wits by the very possibility of been a father at his age, but he had to help calm Cordelia down and he had to face the daunting possibility now in front of him.
“Easy Cor, if you are pregnant then we will help you as best as we can,” Xander assured her. “I will stand by you,” he promised with as much confidence as he could muster.
Cordelia let the words comfort her even if she could detect the slight hesitancy in Xander’s thoughts. Her new powers showing her his fears based on his childhood. But he was trying for her sake and that helped her regain her control enough to stand without Jenny’s help, she couldn’t be pregnant she thought not after only her first time. Finding more determination from within herself to deny the possibility, she began to calm down.
“After school we will each get a pregnancy test kit and see what happens, we can hope we are lucky and they both will come up negative,” Jenny said soothingly. “No offence, but I don’t think any of us are ready to be parents right now,” she added, glancing at Xander who nodded in agreement at her statement.
“If you don’t mind me asking Jenny, how old are you really?” Xander inquired as he recalled what Jenny said about herself the night before.
“Twenty two,” Jenny responded with an impish smile. “But you should really know better than to ask a lady her age Xander,” she added, teasing him a little hoping the levity would distract him and Cordelia from the more serious matters.
Xander to her amusement went red. She loved teasing him even if she knew she shouldn’t. Then she reminded herself that her role as a teacher was just her cover. It wasn’t real and now that Angel was dust was it necessary for her to stay in that cover? It was one of the questions she was now asking herself.
“And what a lady you are,” Xander managed to shoot back as he fought for control as he took in Jenny Calendar. Dressed in a simple white blouse and black skirt, she looked hotter than hell to him.
“That brings up another question,” Cordelia said as she pushed the pregnancy issue to the back of her mind till later “What do we call you, Jenny or Janna?” she inquired.
Jenny thought about it for a few minutes before deciding to keep it simple. “Just keep calling me Jenny. I’ve gotten used to it,” she told them. “The only part of Janna I brought here was the part of me keeping an eye on Angel and he is dust now,” she explained. “I sent of my last report to the elders of my tribe and I can only hope they accept my explanation of his end and grant me my right as an adult at least as the tribe views it,” she said as she leaned against the wall.
“What if they don’t?” Xander asked in slight concern.
“They could do one of several things,” Jenny admitted with a sigh, not really wanting to think about it. “They could exile me from ever returning to the tribe or they could recall me for a deeper investigation of my actions while watching Angel,” she explained, doing her best not to think about that possibility. “But more than likely I won’t go if they do recall me,” she stated boldly as she had no wish to leave Sunnydale and Xander in particular and then there was Cordelia as well who was growing closer to especially after last night.
“And if you don’t go if they do recall you?” Xander inquired, wanting to know so he could be prepared to deal with any threat to Jenny and the group at large.
“They’ll try and force me to come back,” Jenny answered as she looked him in the eyes. She was unsurprised to see Xander’s claws pop out at that. “If I’m lucky they will just accept my report and leave me be,” she told them and both Xander and Cordelia could hear the hopeful tone she used.
“Maybe we can now discuss the real reason we are here,” Cordelia said after a few minutes of silence. “What do we do about us after our bodies had a threesome?” she asked point blank. “It’s clear both you and Xander have feelings for one another just as it is true I have feelings for him as well,” she added before taking a deep breath. “And I have to admit last night I found the idea of us doing it again like that arousing,” she admitted.
Xander’s eyes widened at the admission, and he had to do everything he could to not start daydreaming of them doing it again. Glancing at Jenny he was even more surprised to see she seemed to be having the same problem, maybe a second tryst wasn’t a farfetched idea.
“I can tell by the looks on your faces you feel the same way I do, so what do we do about it?” Cordelia asked, having noted both their reactions.
“I suggest we take it one day at a time,” Jenny finally said after fighting to recover from Cordelia’s rather blank attitude and bringing them back to the matter at hand. “We try dating like normal couples, I don’t think rushing into anything will do us any favors here,” she told them.
“I have to agree with Jenny,” Xander said, but even as he said it he was finding himself drawn towards her. He wanted to taste her again, this time while he was in control.
Jenny saw this and turned to try and talk him out of what he was about to do, but his lips crashed into hers before she could speak. Jenny let out a whimper as her body quickly surrendered to the surreal feeling of kissing Xander. She felt him pull her up against him and she went willingly. All her previous comments about taking it slow going right out the window, Cordelia watched in growing excitement as Xander and Jenny made out in front of her. God if someone had said she would be here watching this yesterday and getting aroused, she would have laughed in their face before calling them delusional. Yet here she was how one event could change her so fast she had no idea. When she saw Xander push Jenny up against the wall and let his hand travel down her body before gripping her ass, she knew she had to get involved. She stepped forward and pulled Xander away from Jenny and kissed him herself, but with far more passion than she had the night before leaving an aroused Jenny to watch.
14. Chapter 14
Logan lay on his bed bored out of his skull after the rather long winded speech Scott had launched himself into, talking about the events of last night and Jean’s resurrection along with Jubilee being cured of her vampirism. Those who had been present the night before had listened in rapt attention, all he had wanted to do was drink down a couple of beers and smoke a cigar. But he had endured it or else Summers would have become annoying. Right now he was waiting for Jean and Betsy to turn up so they could discuss more personal matters. He was thinking about what to say to both of them, he had lost control of the beast within and marked them both during their lust filled threesome.
That wasn’t something easily ignored, might not meant anything for most people, but to those more closely entwined with their instinctive animal side it meant a lot. Grunting he sat up and reached for a cigar, his hand quickly halted as his door opened and Jean walked in with Betsy close behind. Both looked kind of nervous, he could sense their unease and he didn’t doubt they could sense his.
He quickly jumped up, his desire for a cigar quickly forgotten. Jean could see how tense he was as he watched them. For once Logan was uncertain, he was worried if what had transpired between them had ruined their friendship as well as the possibility of anything more in the future. In the past he wouldn’t have cared about such consequences, but since becoming a member of the X-Men he had changed and begun to seek something more than a casual encounter. While the majority of his emotions were focused on her, she knew he found a few of the other X-women pleasing to the eye. One was Betsy which was why the lust spell had been so effective on him, the other was Ororo.
Part of his attraction to their weather controlling friend was her affinity for nature, but it was only a small interest. His interest in Betsy was far more substantial, Betsy was feisty and trained to be a lethal weapon and that interested Logan’s more primal side just as her role as Phoenix did. But there was more to it than that where she and Betsy were concerned. A thread of the link they had created during the threesome was still connecting them so she could sense Logan’s true feelings for both of them. She found that she didn’t mind that he was attracted to Betsy, because during the meeting downstairs she had admitted to herself she was attracted to their purple haired teammate as well. Maybe the lust spell had changed things for them all, more than they had expected.
“Before either of you say anything I just wanted to say that while I regret we got hit by that lust spell, I can’t say I’m sorry it happened because I needed to feel connected with someone after been alone for so long,” Betsy admitted. “I like you both as friends, but last night while in the middle of all that, I realized I liked you both a bit more than just that,” she continued as calmly as she could and hoped she wasn’t making a big mistake. “I’ve been so careful of not getting involved with anyone of late that I ignored any signs of attraction that did show. Last night, after a while, I just gave in and enjoyed the connection we had,” she said. “I know you guys are in love with one another and have been for years, I know you’ve never been able to admit it and actually do something about it because Jean was married to Scott, but now she is free and I know you are both wanting to see if you could make it as a couple,” she stated. “What happened last night has to have screwed things up a little and I’m sorry for that,” she finished and both Jean and Logan could hear the honesty in her tone as she spoke.
“Easy Betsy, yes last night has complicated a few things between me and Logan but not in the way you think,” Jean responded after glancing at Logan for a few seconds. “I think the lust spell has opened up doorways to things I’ve never contemplated before. I feel things I’ve never felt before and I’m confused yet not afraid,” she admitted. “You are right, I love Logan and have done for years and you are right I’ve never admitted it and tried to deny it so I could keep Scott happy and the marriage intact,” she explained. “My marriage is now over, Scott has moved on and I’m now free to try and find out if Logan and I can work and I can’t wait to start that journey,” she said with a warm loving smile in Logan’s direction surprising him at her heartfelt words. “Logan likes you a lot more than he realizes Betsy, and I mean not just psychically which is why the lust spell overpowered him so easily and I’ve begun to realize I like you more than I thought before as well,” she told her and further shocked them. “I don’t know where we go from here, but I do know I want to explore this new part of me,” she finished as confidently as she could before she and Betsy turned to face Logan.
Logan really didn’t know what to say to either of them, hearing Jean say that he had actually feelings for Betsy beyond friendship was rather startling. He had always thought it was just a physical attraction like the one he had for Ororo for a time. Maybe he was wrong, he admitted to himself he was rather focused on Jean and had been for years. He loved her, of that he had no doubt. ‘What to do about this?’ he wondered.
“I’m not good with voicing my feelings and you both know that. I love Jean and have for years and I guess you could say it’s been my focus,” Logan told them as he ran an agitated hand through his hair “I’ve dreamed of the day when we’d finally be together, and against all the odds it looks like that time is finally here,” he added. “To be honest I began to doubt we’d ever get that chance and if it did come I wanted whatever happened to be by Jean’s choice,” he went on with a frustrated sigh. “What happened last night wasn’t by choice for any of us, and I hate it that I couldn’t resist,” he went on. “The animal within not so much, I acted on instinct near the end and I ended up marking you both,” he admitted and was unsurprised as both Jean and Betsy reached up and rubbed their shoulders where his bite marks would have been had they been in their own bodies, but even while it hadn’t been their bodies at the time being the mark was more than a bite in a body and went far deeper. “I’m sorry about that,” he said glancing at both of them warily. “I’m not asking for anything, but I will take what you are willing to give,” he finished.
Jean smiled to herself as she felt Logan’s unease grow a little, he was worried that they would take offence that he had marked them. She knew exactly what it meant as far as his more primal side went, they were his mates now. She didn’t mind one bit, it was far too long in coming if she was honest with herself. She had caught more than one stray fantasy from Logan over the years, and in each one of them Logan claimed her at the end by marking her and each time in the deepest recesses of her mind she had wished they could do it for real. Betsy rubbed her shoulder again, she’d seen Logan’s more primal side when he fell into his berserker rages and she had to admit she found it interesting.
Glancing at Jean she stepped forward and decided to force the issue as it were, she reached up and pulled Logan into a deep and passionate kiss. Logan was taken by surprise, but quickly wrapped his arms around the woman and pulled her closer.
Jean reached out with her mind and felt the passion rising from both of her friends and allowed it to wash over her. It was a strange sensation to allow herself to be overwhelmed by the passion coming from her two kissing friends. Before she would have blocked it out. Moving forward she reached out and ran her hands over Betsy’s back, this gained Betsy’s attention and she broke of the kiss with Logan, she turned and pulled her forwards and kissed her. Jean’s eyes widened at first, this was the first time she had kissed another woman while in control of her body. After a few seconds her eyes closed and she reacted to the kiss, deepening it as much as she could. She found that kissing another woman to be very different than kissing a man. Logan watched in growing arousal as the two women heatedly kissed. He was about to reach for Jean when someone banged on the door interrupting them, Jean pulled away from Betsy with some reluctance as she sensed who was at the door.
“Logan, have you seen Betsy and Jean?” Scott’s voice rang out, causing Logan to growl a little. “We are heading for Sunnydale in ten minutes,” he added.
“I’ll find them boyscout,” Logan shouted back, somewhat annoyed they had been interrupted as something monumental seemed to be on the verge of happening and probably the most amazing thing to happen to him in his life. “See you on the bird,” he added.
Scott frowned as it was unusual for Logan not to come to the door when he called, something strange was going on but he just couldn’t put a finger on what it was. Shrugging he turned and headed for the hangar to prepare the Blackbird. He guessed somewhere along the way he should have a talk with Jean now that she was back. Back inside Jean glanced at Logan and quickly kissed him with as much passion as she could before she turned and exited the room. Betsy smirked at the look on Logan’s face before she followed Jean, but not before giving a mental promise to pick this up again later on. Logan watched them go before running a hand through his hair and wondering how the hell he got so damn lucky after what happened the night before.
Logan was wondering why they were heading for Sunnydale now when it should be obvious that the kids would be in school, chewing on his unlit cigar he wondered if he should mention it. He glanced over to see Jubilee talking a mile a minute with Kitty and Rachel. He smirked and was pleased to see things back to normal where they were concerned. In fact the atmosphere in the Blackbird was oddly serene, frowning he wondered about that for a minute before he just shrugged and accepted it.
“Scott you do realize Xander and his friends will be in class for most of the day?” Jean asked, having picked up Logan’s thoughts, which was far easier than ever before. It made her rethink about the possibility that the three-way link they had shared during the lust spell might have had some lasting effects, she decided to discuss it with Betsy later on before bringing it to Logan’s attention as she knew how he felt about his mind being invaded. He gave her some leeway as well as Xavier, but on the whole he usually kept people out of his head as best as he could.
Scott almost jerked as he realized his error, but quickly stopped himself. He glanced at Emma who smiled at this oversight. “Yes Jean I did, I thought we could spend the day in Sunnydale and take the measure of the town,” he lied as best AS he could although the look on Jean’s face told him she hadn’t bought it. “See if we can spot any trouble the kids might need to know about and so on,” he added and doing his best when he heard Logan grunt, clearly having not bought his lie either.
“You know dad if you want people to believe you when you lie, then please learn to lie much better,” Rachel finally said much to his chagrin. He glanced behind him to see her smirking at him, while Kitty and Jubilee were laughing their heads off. Shaking his head he turned back around, he decided not to say anything as he was just glad to see them in good spirits, Jubilee especially.
“Still Scott raised a good point. If there are any dangers in the town we might be able to find them and let the kids know about them,” Ororo spoke up, concealing her own smile from Scott. “It will give them an ever better chance of doing their jobs,” she added.
“So we split up and look around?” Betsy inquired.
“Yes we do, one telepath to each group so four groups” Scott shot back. “Me, Emma, Rahne and Hank,” he told them. “Kitty, Kurt, Betsy and Ororo,” he continued. “Rachel, Logan, Gambit and Rogue,” he went on. “Jean, Jubilee, Warren and Bobby,” he finished.
Logan growled a little at being split up from Jean and Betsy, but he at least could keep an eye on Rachel. He knew the dangers that lurked in Sunnydale and he intended to cut some of them down before they could become a real danger.
Jenny tried to stay as quiet as possible as she felt Xander’s hand roam over her left breast, this coupled with Cordelia nibbling on her neck while fondling her ass was quickly sending her emotions haywire and she was beginning to grow tempted to push this into much more than a groping session. But she knew Buffy and the others were waiting for them, so however reluctantly she pushed Xander away with a small telepathic push while gently removing Cordelia from her throat.
“As much as I would love to continue this, we have a meeting to get to and if we delay anymore then it is possible they will come looking for us and we will end up being caught in a very compromising position,” Jenny told them as she tried to calm herself down as well as straighten out her blouse.
“Yeah good idea,” Xander said, taking deep breaths to help center himself, he could feel his hormones raging within. Right now the only thing on his mind was ripping Jenny’s blouse off and making wild love to her. Jenny could see it in his eyes and gave him a coy smile before heading for the door. “Wait a couple of minutes before leaving, we’ll pick this up again later I promise,” she added then exited.
Xander leaned against the wall and tried to calm himself down, it wouldn’t do to walk into the library with a damn hard on. Cordelia quickly straightened her own clothes out before she left, her thoughts were beyond wild. The lust spell must have really left some traces on them all, for them to be going at one another so quickly. Never before had she thought of being lovers with two other people and with one of them being another woman, yet now she hoped this thing between them all worked out. She pushed any thoughts of being pregnant away, they would deal with that later and she prayed that it wasn’t the case.
Xander finally left after another few minutes, he finally felt back in control. He entered the library to find everyone waiting for him; he paused as he noted the new guy. Oz looked Xander over having already been brought up to date about the group and the Hellmouth. He found it amazing that such a small group of people had saved so many lives as well as kept the portal to hell closed. Now they were far more able to do their chosen job. Combined, their gifts would hopefully ensure that the Hellmouth remained shut.
“Finally, jeez Xander where have you been?” Buffy asked with some impatience in her voice.
“You don’t want to know Buffy,” Xander responded as he sat down. “Because if I did tell you then you’d be calling me gross,” he added with a smirk as Buffy quickly caught on and avoided looking at him. “So who is the newbie? And hi Amy, glad you could make it,” he said.
“Hey Xander,” Amy responded with a smile, having always liked him as he was usually a blast, he always had a good joke ready and waiting and he looked out for people being bullied, even though it usually brought the heat down on him instead.
“This is Oz, he is like us,” Willow answered his question. “He went as Kain from that game series and he still has the powers and the sword,” she added in her usual perky tone, causing her hair to turn blue much to her amusement as well as the others.
“You need to get control of that Willow before you do it in front of people who don’t know the truth about Sunnydale,” Jenny told her with a smile.
“I know, I’m trying, I was up half the night in front of my mirror trying, but it isn’t easy,” Willow responded. “Thankfully like Giles said I do have Tonk’s training in my head as well as her powers, so I’m going through it bit by bit,” she added.
“You have the Soulreaver?” Xander asked before anyone could respond to Willow’s statement. He leant forward in interest and some worry.
“I do, but don’t worry I’ll make sure it is kept safe,” Oz answered, understanding the worry he saw in the other male.
“So why do you remember?” Cordelia inquired, fighting the urge to use her new telepathic powers to take a quick peek into the newcomers mind, especially as she didn’t yet have full control of them and didn’t want to accidently hurt their new ally.
“I don’t know exactly why they chose me, just that they did,” Oz replied with a shrug before they were all surprise to see Metatron return in his usually method.
“He’s here because he would have become a member of your group in time anyway,” Metatron informed them. “Hence it made sense for him to be included in this, like you he was offered a choice and he chose to accept it,” he explained. “As for your concerns regarding the Soulreaver, don’t worry, should he fall then Loki will come to collect the blade and ensure no one else can claim it,” he added. “Now from this point forth Whistler will be your contact should you need any more questions to be answered. I know you and the X-Men still hold him responsible for Ethan escaping, but it wasn’t his fault,” he stated. “So don’t give him any more of a hard time, good luck,” he finished before he vanished once more.
“Who is that?” Oz inquired.
“We haven’t got a damn clue,” Giles answered with a sigh. “But whoever he is, he is well informed and powerful,” he told him.
“And I know I have seen him before somewhere,” Willow added thoughtfully, trying to remember why he seemed so familiar to her.
“And this Whistler he mentioned?” Oz asked wanting to get as much information as he could.
“A supposed former balance demon for the now exterminated Powers that Be,” Jenny informed him. “However due to him being the one to tell us that Ethan, the warlock responsible for last night’s events, would be allowed to escape without any punishment…,” she paused before continuing as she felt anger at the warlocks escape. “Well we took it out on him, none of us liked the idea of him getting away when people died due to his actions, especially when he did this all for fun,” she spat before Cordelia reached over and rubbed her shoulder to try and ease her anger.
“I guess we should just be glad the Powers won’t be able to manipulate us anymore,” Buffy said with a sigh of relief. “From what we were told, had this happened as it did, then things would have gotten nasty for us all,” she went on. “Maybe those people didn’t die for nothing,” she mused.
“Perhaps,” Giles responded although he had his doubts. But it might help Buffy and the others deal with the situation a bit better if they felt there was some purpose to the deaths of those who died the night before.
“So what happens now?” Amy asked.
“For now you have class, but once it is over please return here and I will begin your instruction in magic,” Giles answered as he glanced at some notes he had made.
Amy nodded before getting up and leaving, the others slowly followed her.
Giles watched them go before removing his glasses and sitting down. He just hoped Amy and the others would all prove capable of not only controlling their new powers, but also being able to use them only when needed.
The day passed slowly for Cordelia, the closer she got to the end of the day the more nervous and agitated she became about the possibility that she was pregnant. The trouble she had in keeping her new powers under control didn’t help matters. It seemed Xander and Giles had been correct when they said that imprinted memories didn’t give you complete control of them right off the bat. But the few stray glimpses she did get were an eye opener; it made her revaluate her entire time in school. It took even more control to not use her psi-blade to put Harmony down when they passed in the corridor. The level of hatred and raw darkness she found in her so called friend was so disturbing she felt sick. She’d never thought Harmony could have that much hatred inside of her. She would have to keep an eye on her, she thought. When the bell finally rang she all but rushed out to find Jenny and Xander waiting by her car. She was about to jump in when Harmony and the others in their group turned up.
“Cordelia what the hell are you doing with him?” Harmony spat, pointing directly at Xander who began to growl quietly, but he stayed where he was. Jenny noted Harmony was doing her best to ignore her presence.
“Well you see Harmony I’m going out with my boyfriend. So back off before I really decide to teach you a lesson,” Cordelia shot back, unable to stop herself and no longer caring where she stood with them or the other popular kids.
Harmony looked shell shocked as did most of the others in the group, all bar Aura Wilson who stood watching with a curious look on her face. “Boyfriend him? No way…,” she finally rallied unable to believe what she had just heard. “He is the biggest loser on the planet, dating him will destroy you and make you nothing but his whore,” she spat with real venom in her tone.
Cordelia marched forward and glared at the blond and felt the real urge to show the blond bimbo some of her new skills, but a gentle mental nudge from Jenny stopped her. “One more word Harmony about Xander and you will have to be carried home. Got me?” she threatened her.
“What the hell have you done to her loser?” Harmony demanded, turning from Cordelia to glare at Xander who clenched his fist tightly and wished he could unleash his claws to shut Harmony up.
Cordelia slapped Harmony around the face sending the sneering blond backwards, before Harmony could recover Cordelia followed it up with a punch to her jaw which sent her to the ground hard. “I warned you. From now on Harmony you are going to learn to respect other people,” she told the fallen blond who was currently holding her jaw and was crying. The other members of her former group were staring at her in shock. Aura however was watching events with a small smile which surprised Cordelia. “Try and come after us and I will repeat this lesson, now get out of my sight or suffer worse and the same goes for the rest of you,” she spat before turning to Aura. “Except you,” she stated more evenly wondering at Aura’s odd behavior.
Aura watched as her former friends all but ran for it and had to fight to contain her laughter. She had long waited for someone to put Harmony in her place. She had become one of them because she wanted to keep people from paying too much attention to her. Without any real ego she knew she was a good looking person and that usually drew unwanted attention. By being one of Cordelia’s hanger ons her attitude kept most away, but as time went on she began to tire of the act and especially of Harmony Kendall. Of late she had seen a change in Cordelia. She had noted her growing closeness with Xander, her one time sparring partner. For her it had been a sign that maybe things would change for the better and that she would no longer have to put up with Harmony and the others.
“Why the smile?” Cordelia inquired, wanting to reach out and pick the answers for Aura’s brain, but Jenny’s metal warning stopped her.
“Because like you I have grown to hate them, Harmony especially,” Aura answered. “I’ve noticed your growing distance from them, as well the fact you and Xander seemed to have become closer, so I took it as a sign things were changing and that I could get rid of them as well,” she explained. “They’ve served their purpose which was to keep away unwanted attention, people know now to leave me alone unless I seek them out,” she added with a wicked smile.
“Wow, I had no idea you felt the same,” Cordelia told her and she was really surprised. “I think we’ll have to hang together sometime and really get to know one another,” she added before she headed back to the car.
“I look forward to it Cordy,” Aura replied before she headed for home thinking that she’d probably have a good night’s sleep now that she would no longer have to pretend to like Harmony and the others.
Cordelia got in the driver’s seat still going over what had just happened, after the other two had gotten into the car she set out for the local pharmacy. Xander leaned into the seat and wondered about the change in Cordelia. Yesterday he doubted she would have confronted Harmony and the others or claimed him as her boyfriend. ‘Why were they so different?’ he wondered not that he was really complaining.
15. Chapter 15
The Mayor sat and listened as Alan reported the results of the battle that had taken place the night before, he was surprised to hear that William the Bloody and his insane girlfriend Drusilla were dead. That brought things here in Sunnydale down a level, not that he minded. What he was concerned about was the new closeness he was hearing between the Slayer’s group and the X-Men. They had been sighted in town looking into places where he didn’t want people looking. ‘What were they planning?’ he wondered.
“An entertaining and full report Alan,” he finally said after Alan finished. “So we should have a quieter time for a while if so many demons and vampires were wiped out,” he mused.
“Yes Sir, that would be my belief as well,” Alan agreed with a nod of his head. “The X-Men seem to be taking an interest in this town, I’ve ordered them to be watched” he added.
“Excellent, I can’t afford to have them snooping around or helping the Slayer and her friends,” the Mayor responded as he rubbed his chin. “I might have to forge some alliances in the mutant community to ensure they are unavailable to help when I ascend,” he suggested mostly to himself. “But of course that is for later, for now just keep a close eye on them and report any other new arrivals,” he ordered. “Also have our people keep a close eye out for Ethan’s return. If he does I want him captured and brought to me so I can personally thank him for making a right mess of things,” he added dangerously.
“Yes Sir,” Alan responded with a nod of his head before he turned and left the office. The Mayor leaned back in his chair and wondered how his ascension would unfold next year. He would have to be far more careful than he would have believed before last night.
Cordelia pulled the car up in front of the chemist and quickly shut the engine off and just stared at the shop. Jenny could feel her friends and new lover’s unease, but did not let it affect her as she knew they had to get this done now before anything else happened.
“You do know a test will not work so soon, right?” Cordelia inquired as she glanced at Jenny trying to keep her emotions under control. “At least that is what they tell us in those classes they make us take about sex education,” she pointed out.
Jenny smiled briefly having wondered whether either of them would be aware of that fact. “Yes I know Cordy, but I also know a spell my tribe uses that speed up the results of such tests so they can know when a new member of the tribe will be on the way,” she explained. “It is taught to all the female members of the tribe once we reach our sixteenth birthday,” she continued as she looked between them.
“I can’t go in there,” Cordelia said, having to fight to remain in control now.
“Easy Cordelia,” Xander said from behind them as he reached over and ran what he hoped was a comfortable hand up and down her arm.
“Neither of you are going in there,” Jenny told them seriously. “If either one of you are seen near that chemist then it will be all over the town by tomorrow, and then the rumors would never stop,” she added at their look. “I’m going in,” she stated as she got out of the car and made sure to crab her bag which held her purse. “Just relax both of you and prey everything turns out ok,” she said with a smile before closing the door of the car and heading into the chemist.
“How can she be so calm?” Cordelia asked as she stared at where Jenny had vanished into the shop.
“I have no idea, but it is impressive,” Xander responded with an impressed look on his face. “Don’t worry, no matter how this turns out we are in this together and neither of us are leaving you,” he assured her as he noted she was still very tense.
Cordelia didn’t responded, but grabbed his hand and held onto it, it helped her to focus and calm her raging emotions. She could not be pregnant she thought, she was not ready to be a mother especially right now. Jenny quickly returned and got back into the car. Cordelia quickly stared the car and headed for the school as they had a meeting to attend as well, but first they had to take the test and she prayed hard it would come up negative.
Buffy stared at the wall for what had to be the hundredth time as she thought over everything that had happened since last night, her mind felt like exploding. She had lost Angel even though she was never meant to have him in the first place, but they had gained two new allies in Amy and Oz. But the pain of Angel’s death at her hands refused to leave her. She doubted it would go anytime soon, but if what they were told by the stranger who kept popping up had said she would find love again in time. Glancing at the clock she noted it was time to leave and thus she grabbed some stakes from her chest and headed out the door and down the stairs to leave. She passed her mother who was busy talking to someone on the phone, she waved goodbye and then left and hoped for the next couple of days things would be quiet while she tried to deal with all the new changes in her and her friend’s lives.
Cordelia stared at the little stick in her hand waiting for the test to show either blue or red, she was praying for blue as it would mean she wasn’t pregnant. In the next stall Jenny also sat waiting for the test to show its results, both women were on edge and nervous. They both feared how they would cope if they were pregnant, they were scared of how Xander would react if they were indeed carrying his child. They could sense his own fears and nerves with their new powers, he was fighting his own deepest darkest fear that he would become like his own father. They knew from brief scans of Xander’s memories enough about Antony Harris to know he was the evilest and worst father there was. They had brief glimpses of Xander’s childhood and knew why he feared ever becoming a father so much. They guessed until they had fully mastered their new powers they would continue to get brief glimpses into people’s minds, but they were now aware of the horrors they might see.
Xander waited outside the toilets growing more nervous as time passed. He could sense the arrival of the others, but he remained where he was, praying both girls wouldn’t be pregnant. There was no way he was ready to be a father. His own father was the worst example he could think of. He had suffered at the hands of Antony Harris a number of times, from a smack here and there to a real beating if Antony was drunk enough. His mother Jessica had suffered just as much at her husband’s hands as he had. He had tried to protect his mother whenever he could and had become more than willing to take a beating meant for her. Sometimes he wished they had the courage to try and escape Antony’s grasp, but he knew if they did that the man would come after them and the consequences would be server for both of them. Taking another deep breath he leaned against the wall and continued to wait, all the while trying to keep his fear at bay. Finally after what seemed like ages Jenny and Cordelia came out of the room and he quickly noted their relieved faces even if he could see tear tracks down their cheeks.
“We’re both clear Xander,” Jenny said with a small smile, inside she could still hear the rapid beating of her heart as the relief continued to set it. While maybe one day she might like a baby of her own, she was in no way ready for it right now. Xander let out a relieved sigh before hugging them both. He felt something finally lift as he began to calm down and his fear receded. He could feel both girls were shaking somewhat, both were clearly emotional from the near miss he thought. Cordelia relished the hug as she got over how close she came to a nightmare, she couldn’t be a mother here and now. Things were too crazy for that, and her relationship with Xander and Jenny was still so new. Maybe someday in the future, but not right now. She had already cried in relief once she had seen she wasn’t pregnant, but right there in Xander’s arms she cried again in relief. Xander’s hands ran down her hair in a soothing gesture, she allowed it to help bring her raging emotions back under control as her tears quickly ran dry once more.
“We were lucky this time,” Cordelia said as the broke the hug and wiped the tear tracks from her cheeks. “But if and when we do it again you better have some protection,” she told him, trying to shift the mood to something a bit more normal. “Got it?” she inquired in a half serious/half teasing tone.
“I got you,” Xander assured her with raised hands already aware of what Cordelia was trying to do and decided to do his best to help. “Now we have a meeting and if I’m not mistaken Logan and the others are here as well,” he told them as he picked up the feral mutants sent. Jenny was also aware of them trying to put this behind them and shift things past it all, somehow she doubted either of them would forget how close they came to a life changing event. She wiped her own cheeks dry before she followed them. Her emotions still felt somewhat raw, but now she knew the truth she felt more in control of herself.
Entering the library they found that the X-Men had indeed turned up as they had promised they would, they quickly sat down after greeting them.
“We’ve been here for most of the day looking Sunnydale over,” Scott began. “We’ve found some troubling things, it seems all your emergency services as well as government know about the vampires and demons infesting this town,” he informed them. “Worse the Mayor himself has plans to ascend to a full demon. Emma picked up his thoughts when we passed by city hall,” he added.
“Dear lord,” Giles gasped. “If that is true then we must stop him and as quickly as possible, although I’m perplexed how he intends to do such a thing,” he stated. “The ascension ritual has not been used in a hundred years or more, the books were lost some time ago,” he explained as he removed his glasses and began to clear them.
“How dangerous can this guy be?” Xander inquired leaning forward.
“If he succeeds in the ritual then he could potentially bring hell to the earth,” Giles answered grimly. “A full demon is beyond anything we have faced before, its powers and abilities would be limitless,” he told them. “Killing it would be extremely hard, although I would rate our chances much better after last night’s events,” he went on. “Had we faced such a thing without our upgrades as well as our new allies then I wouldn’t give us much of a chance,” he admitted honestly.
“We can’t just go after him Giles,” Buffy argued. “He’s the damn Mayor,” she pointed out. “And if the police and other services are on his payroll then what can we do?” she asked.
“You have time to work out a plan Buffy,” Emma spoke up calmly. “From what I got from his thoughts, he can’t ascend till next year in the summer” she told them. “Hopefully we have come up with some way to remove him from office and stopped him from finding the books Mr. Giles mentioned by then,” she added.
“Why not just remove him permanently?” Xander inquired darkly not liking anything he was hearing.
“We don’t kill people,” Scott snapped back almost in the exact tone he used with Logan.
“He has a soul,” Buffy shouted at the same time angered by Xander’s question.
“I’m not too sure of that myself as this man has made deals with demons and vampires,” Emma stated into the silence that followed. “That is how is has survived the last hundred years and stayed in control of the town. He will do anything to ensure his plans are not interrupted,” she told them.
“It doesn’t matter. He’s human and we don’t kill humans,” Buffy shot back with a glare.
“Kid sometimes humans can be as evil as any vampire or demon you’ve faced,” Logan growled out seeing both points of view. “Why do you think there is so much evil in the world? Some people only care about money and power,” he continued. “At those times a permanent solution is the only one,” he stated.
Buffy didn’t really know what to say in response and neither it seemed did anyone else, even Scott kept quiet as he knew Logan had seen what evil men could do in his long life.
“But as he is a public figure with a lot of allies we will have to tred carefully,” Logan admitted after letting his earlier point sink in. He knew it wasn’t easy for some of them to understand, but if they lived long enough they would come to understand.
“We found another threat in a warlock called Rack. He seems to have the ability to corrupt other magical users by promising to boost their powers or at least that is how it looked,” Warren reported, glancing briefly at his ex-girlfriend Betsy, but he noted she was paying him no attention. He frowned, their break up had been all on him if he was honest with himself, but sometimes he regretted it. “The few others in that place looked like drug junkies,” he added in distaste.
“And you didn’t deal with him?” Logan asked with a frown.
“He’s human Logan and as Scott has stated before we don’t kill people,” Warren shot back.
“This person was turning people into burnt out junkies Warren. They looked like they were dying and slowly and painfully at that,” Jean stated having been stopped by Warren and Bobby from storming the place and dealing with the man herself. This caused Logan and Xander both to growl.
“Clearly whatever process he uses has a degrading and multiplying effect on the people who come to him,” Giles explained having heard of similar things before. “He will not be easy to deal with either,” he warned as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
“Yeah he will,” Xander stated coldly as he popped his claws and showed them to Giles. “And before you say anything Buffy or you Scott just try and think of how many kids this fucker has been responsible for killing with this process of his,” he quickly added as he saw Buffy move to respond.
“The kid is right Summers, this warlock needs to be stopped,” Logan agreed, this time not willing to back down, this warlock was in his mind just a punk dealer and he was killing young people to feed his habit.
“I agree also Scott,” Betsy spoke up with a frown. “I somehow doubt this warlock cares about the people he is killing,” she told him when he turned and frowned at her.
“Scott I know you don’t like this but we are now involved here, and this warlock is dangerous and he is killing people,” Jean picked up surprising Scott even more. “We have to act,” she stated.
“But Jean the Professor taught us not to kill ever, his dream was to unite mankind and Mutants together in peace,” Scott argued.
“This warlock doesn’t share that dream one eye,” Logan stated as he stood up. “And sometimes you have to cross the line to protect the people you are trying to help. It is what soldiers do every damn day,” he told him. “Sometimes there are no other choices,” he added with a glare.
“The cops won’t arrest him as they are all under the sway of the Mayor,” Jean put in, knowing Logan was going to go after the warlock with or without Scott’s permission. “The Professor would understand,” she assured him.
“How can you say that Jean?” Scott demanded even more shocked.
“Because I’m Phoenix and if it is one thing I’ve learned so far is that there are times when one must kill to do their job,” Jean responded. “Phoenix has killed before to do just that, she did it when she first took me as a host if you will recall,” she reminded him.
Scott rubbed his forehead feeling an onset of a headache. What was he to do? He wasn’t naive. If he refused to let Logan do something about the warlock then he would do it behind his back. Jean and those who had begun to support a more permanently end to certain threats they dealt with would support him. This would cause a division within the X-Men.
“Alright Logan just this once,” Scott gave in after a few minutes of thought. He could see their point, even if he didn’t like it. There were lives on the line in this and no other way to deal with him that he could see. “But don’t take this as me giving you the go ahead on anyone else, are we clear?” he asked in a more commander tone of voice.
“Yeah I understand,” Logan replied, almost surprised that Scott had actually given him the go ahead. “You made the right call Scott,” he assured him before he turned and headed out the library.
“I hope so,” Scott mumbled more to himself than anyone else.
“Did you find any other major threats?” Jenny inquired glancing at Xander and noted he looked relieved about something, taking a quick peek into his head she found he was relieved that Scott had been willing to bend where this Rack was concerned.
“No, they are the two major problems you face and seen as Logan is about to off Rack then all you have to really deal with is the Mayor,” Emma responded. “The only other things you face are your regular demons and vampires,” she added.
“I guess that should be a relief for us,” Buffy said, not liking the fact that someone was going to die, but she knew there was little she could do to stop it. She remembered what Abigail had seen of Logan, she doubted she would have much luck in fighting him.
“It will help us, especially as we try and come up with a way to stop the Mayor’s plans Buffy, and it will give us time to train using our new powers and skills,” Giles told her calmly. Inside he agreed with Logan and those others who believed Rack should be removed permanently, but he knew never to mention it to Buffy who just didn’t think like that.
“If that is all then I suggest we patrol and see what we can find,” Xander stated as he stood up, wanting to test himself and see just how well he could use his new claws without real training.
“What about sorting out a plan for you to visit the mansion for training?” Hank inquired.
“We can sort that out when we come back Hank,” Scott was the one who responded. “I think we should go out there and see what they can do first, and then we can talk about training,” he added.
Hank nodded, seeing the wisdom in this before he got up with the others and followed them out the door. He knew this was a new dawn for the X-Men. They had just become part of another war just as important as the one they fought for Mutant acceptance.
Logan kicked the door in and stormed inside. His nose was assaulted by the smell of magic and death. There were five teenagers all of decaying health sitting in dirty sofa’s waiting to see the warlock. He growled low in his throat at the sight of the kids and knew without immediate help they would all properly be dead within the next couple of weeks. Turning he kicked in the next door and entered to find a girl that couldn’t be any older than fifthteen withering on a ruined bed. She was screaming as the warlock stood over her, casting his magic. Clearly this girl was close to having her body giving in. Rack having heard his door being broken in turned and stopped what he was doing leaving the girl screaming her head of as her body contorted in pain.
“Who the hell are you?” Rack growled in annoyance at having been interrupted. “What right do you have to barge in here?” he demanded as the girl went silent as she fell unconscious, her body beginning to give into the ravages she had been putting it under since first coming to Rack.
“I’m your death punk,” Logan shot back as he popped his claws, shocking Rack who quickly backed away. “Your little business is over,” he stated as he stepped forward.
Rack recognized the man now as the mutant X-Man known as Wolverine, and with that realization he knew he was in deep shit. He quickly tried to cast a spell, but he wasn’t fast enough as Logan charged him. His claws slammed into his chest and nailed him against the wall. Rack coughed up blood as he was pinned; the savage almost animal look Logan gave him as he pulled one of his claws out made him want to whimper in fear.
“Go to hell punk and suffer,” Logan spat as he brought his claws down and ripped open Rack’s throat. Rack let out a strangled cry of pain before he died. Logan pulled his other claw from his chest and let the now dead warlock collapse to the ground in a quickly growing pool of blood.
Logan moved to check the young girl and found a small pulse. He let out a breath of relief and moved to the phone to call someone who knew how to get real help to these people.
“Fury yeah it’s me Wolverine,” Logan said into the phone. “I need you to contact Doctor Strange and have him get to Sunnydale California,” he told the man. “Just dealt with a warlock who was killing other magic users, mostly teenagers, they are suffering from drug like symptoms from his process of boosting their skills,” he explained. “They need help only Steven can provide or they are going to die, so get that call in pronto. I’ll wait and look around and see if I can find a list of his other customers,” he added before listening to the reply he got. “Yeah I’ll give you the full lowdown on this place later,” he finished before hanging up.
Letting Fury know about this place was probably a fifty/fifty kind of choice, he knew the man cared about the world and would do almost anything to keep it in one place. But it was the ‘he would do anything’ that made him wary of Fury no matter how long they had known each other. Sunnydale was a dangerous place especially with the Hellmouth here. Having it on S.H.I.E.L.D’s radar was probably in the end the best thing. If it ever got opened then they would need to react fast to have any chance to stop the world ending. He wasn’t surprised as Doctor Steven Strange appeared in a puff of smoke. He nodded to the man who quickly got to work on the young girl while Logan began to search through Rack’s stuff. He hoped with Strange’s help they could find and cure all of Rack’s customers, and ensure no one else died to his greed.
Metatron watched alongside God, Loki, Whistler and Janus as the new allied force headed out. The Earth Plane had been stabilized by the new plans put forth by God and would hopefully ensure the forces of darkness were kept where they belong. They also viewed Logan’s actions with the warlock and his choice to alert the secret police force known as S.H.I.E.L.D to the Hellmouth, a risky gambit but they could see why he had done it. They would have to wait to see which way things would go. Logan was thinking long term something the Slayer and her new allies hadn’t yet thought about.
God had decided to put Janus and the rest of the old Gods back into positions of power over the Earth Realm; however they now had oversight in the form of Loki and a group of handpicked Archangels. Should any of them over step their bounds then they would be removed permanently, it was hoped this would prevent anymore betrayals. The Elders had been so scared after what happened to the powers that they had begged for forgiveness, any plans of their own design they had in place were quickly forgotten. Janus doubted after this that anyone would dare challenge God’s will again, but then sometimes arrogance consumed even the most noble of people so one day someone might make that challenge, but he doubted they would survive it.
16. Chapter 16 - Book 2
Logan sat at the table along with Doctor Strange, Nicholas Fury and his second in command Maria Hill. They had been discussing the ramifications of what the men had reported about their time in Sunnydale only two days before. Fury was still trying to get his head around there being an actual portal to hell on Earth. Hill however looked like she thought Logan and Strange had both finally gone crazy. She respected both men’s powers and accomplishments, but she still had doubts about magic and other out worldly things on Earth, sometimes she felt the world would be better off if things like mutants and magic didn’t exist or at least not here on Earth.
“So the kids will recover?” Fury inquired.
“Yes they will recover, but it will take some time for them to get over what they went through,” Strange responded with a nod of his head. “That warlock’s powers seriously messed with their auras and their bodies, as suggested each session wore their bodies down to the point where it just gave up,” he explained with clear distaste in his tone at what Rack had been doing. “It was not a quick process hence the agony they went through. The first girl I attended to was pretty close to dying and more than likely would have after one more of this Rack’s sessions,” he continued. “She will be lucky if she is ever completely right from this point on,” he concluded.
“And the warlock?” Hill inquired.
“Dead,” Logan grunted as he glanced at the woman who he did not like or trust. She came of as condescending and arrogant. “He won’t harm anyone else, and the last thing we need is anymore insane witches or warlocks running around,” he pointed at cutting off whatever Hill was going to say.
“Agreed, however I’m still concerned about this portal business,” Fury said in response, not surprising anyone in the room as they all knew Fury was willing to kill if it meant protecting the world in the long run. It was one of the things that made Logan respect Fury while at the same time made him wary of the man. He knew Fury would go to any lengths to save the world no matter the cost.
“What about the other kids affected by the spell this other warlock cast?” Hill inquired.
“They’ve all returned back to normal with no abnormal affects,” Logan answered simply knowing there was no way in hell was he admitting some of had kept the powers and skills due to the machinations of higher powers of who he was still unsure of.
“Should we be on the lookout for this warlock?” Fury asked with a slight frown in Logan’s direction as he got the feeling Logan was holding back on something.
“No there are eyes already on the lookout for this smuck and when we find him he’s turkey,” Logan promised in response and a glint in his eye that showed he was serious to which Fury just nodded, knowing the warlock would not survive a second encounter with the feral mutant.
“What I want to know is how has this portal and the entire underworld life that surrounds it kept so under the radar that we didn’t even know it existed?” Hill demanded to know. “I mean we know about vampires and demons, but not in this kind of numbers, and this species of vampires seem different than the ones we’ve dealt with before,” she continued.
“Good question,” Fury agreed and looked to Doctor Strange for the answer.
“There are some things that are not for you to know or to police,” Strange answered calmly. “There are others out there tasked with that job and that is all you need to know right now,” he told them.
“What kind of enemies are we likely to find in Sunnydale itself?” Hill inquired, quickly moving on as she knew they would get no more out of the Doctor. She wanted all the information she would get not only for their report, but also so anyone sent to Sunnydale would know what to expect.
“Low and high level vampires and demons as well as witches and warlocks,” Logan answered. “But keep in mind not all the witches and warlocks are bad guys. To some witchcraft is just a religion to follow,” he reminded them with a glare. He didn’t want to cause any trouble for those kids who practiced witchcraft or used it to protect themselves. It was only those who used it for evil that he felt needed to put down. “The major problem right now is the Mayor, he has the whole emergency services and government under his control,” he explained. “They all know what is really going on in that town and what is causing the high body count, but they don’t care, they ignore all calls pertaining to the supernatural,” he continued and quickly noted Fury did not like what he was hearing. “Worse yet this piece of slime intends to ascend to full demon next summer,” he stated.
“WHAT?” Strange shouted, first in surprise and then anger. “What poor excuse for a man would want to become a demon?” he demanded his face looking like a thunder cloud. “Did you get told what class of demon he intends to ascend too?” he asked after regaining control of himself.
“A first level demon,” Logan answered, already guessing this was worse than he and the others had imagined.
“I take it this would be bad news?” Fury asked, already getting that feeling considering how Steven a man who was usually calm and collected was acting.
“Bad news,” Strange responded with a sour look on his face. “If he succeeded he could end the world, a first level demon would be almost impossible to kill and the damage it could cause is beyond belief,” he explained. “I’m surprised you didn’t deal with this person as you did with the warlock,” he mused turning to Logan.
“Wanted to believe me Steven,” Logan growled in answer. “One eye refused especially as the Mayor is an elected official and removing him meant dealing with all the crocked cops and the like he had working for him,” he told them clearly frustrated. “Also the group we ended up helping refused the idea of killing him, and the last thing the X-Men need is the public getting wind of us killing elected officials, slime balls or not,” he pointed out. “We have time to figure a way of dealing with him, and now you know about him then you can work on the problem as well with a lot less red tape to get in the way,” he stated with a shrug.
“We’ll get to work on it Logan,” Fury promised, not liking this anymore than anything else he had heard about Sunnydale. “A lot of this will have to be run pass the President before we can act. This sort of thing is beyond even our scope right now,” he admitted. “To think I once thought aliens and mutants were bad to deal with, now I have to worry about supernatural monsters as well,” he said mostly to himself, but the others heard him. “Steven is there anything you can do to close the portal?” Fury asked.
“I’m afraid not, there are rules in this world that must be obeyed as well as the cosmic balance,” Strange answered with a sigh. “That portal is part of that balance, as is the war waged against the vampires and demons by the many champions that exist to combat it,” he informed them, giving them a little more information than before but not by much. “I myself am one of those champions, but we can’t break the rules no matter how powerful we are,” he went on. “To do so would bring nothing but hell to this world,” he warned. “The Hellmouth can be shut, but only at the right time and by the right people,” he stated.
“So in the meantime people get to die while we wait for these supposed right people?” Hill inquired almost sarcastically.
“That is the way the world works Miss Hill as not all problems can be solved by force of arms,” Strange replied taking no offense at the woman’s words.
“Ok enough about the nature of the world,” Fury cut in before anymore could be said. “I will have a small detachment created to keep watch over this damn portal. The last thing we need is hell on Earth,” he grunted. “We have enough things to worry about as it is without anything else being added to the list,” he told them.
“The X-Men will also be keeping an eye on the town Fury,” Logan finally spoke up again having just listened to what the others were saying. “We have personal interests there now,” he added.
“What kind of interests?” Hill inquired with interest.
“None of your damn business, I only let you know about the portal so you can help to keep it closed,” Logan shot back. “End of story,” he added before he got up and left the room.
“Sir,” Hill began to say, but Fury cut her off.
“Don’t bother Hill as he’s right it isn’t our business,” Fury told her. “At least not yet, if it becomes a problem that endangers the world then it becomes our business, but until then leave it alone,” he went on with a slight glare at his colleague. “You don’t want Logan pissed at you,” he added as a warning before he ended the meeting and left the room alongside Doctor Strange.
Hill glared at the door where her superior officer had left, not liking his tone or his refusal to keep an eye on the X-Men and Wolverine in particular, but there was little she could do to countermand his orders. Getting up herself she headed for her room, sometimes she thought S.H.I.E.L.D would be better off under her command and not Fury’s. She also thought shortly if she should deploy some of the agents loyal to her, but then decided it wasn’t worth to risk blowing there cover over this, at least not now.
Logan returned to the mansion by way of the teleporter created by the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards, it was based on Shi'ar technology handed to him by Professor Xavier for helping the X-Men during a struggle with Apocalypse. Pretty nifty really and it made it getting to and from the hellicarrier easier. He nodded in greeting as he passed Hank before heading for his room. Unable to help himself he sniffed once or twice and caught both Jean and Betsy’s sent, both were pretty recent so he knew they were in the mansion. The last two days had been like a dream, his new relationship with both women was slowly becoming the norm and he knew it was no dream. While what had happened in Sunnydale had been trouble for them all, it had also given him the chance to finally have a real chance at being in a relationship with Jean, but also with Betsy as well.
He still was getting used to the fact he had been interested in the purple haired ninja to such an extent without even realizing it, still he admitted it was Jean who he loved the most. He knew Betsy knew this fact, but thankfully she didn’t resent it but accepted it instead. Finally reaching his room he entered and collapsed onto his bed, rubbing his eyes he just hoped Fury and the government didn’t do anything monumentally stupid where the Hellmouth was concerned. It was dangerous as it was and they didn’t need any arrogant scientist messing around thinking they could harness demons and vampires as weapons. One thing Fury and others would never find out if he could help it was the transformation of Xander, Jenny and Cordelia into Mutants. They did not need that kind of attention and in the case of Xander he was best kept hidden from Weapon X.
(Sunnydale, Harris residence)
Xander groaned as he pushed himself back up from where his father Tony had just nailed him in the face. He was trying to keep the man from hitting his mother Jessica in one of his drunken rages. Why the man couldn’t leave them alone was beyond him, now though the pain from his blows was lessened as his healing factor quickly healed him and he knew he would no longer sport any bruises from these type of nights. He could retaliate, but he didn’t want to really harm his father no matter what he did to him in return. Tony lunged at him again, but this time Xander dodged it and Tony collapsed to the floor in his drunken haze. Xander raised his foot and quickly lashed out with hard kick and was not disappointed as it knocked Tony out. Leaning against the wall he knew he would pay for actually kicking his father, but it was best this was stopped now. He turned and moved to check on his mother.
“You okay mom?” he asked as he knelt next to her shaking form.
“I’m fine Alex,” Jessica responded after a few seconds of staring at her unconscious husband. “You hit him,” she finally stated a few seconds later, her surprise at this fact still showing in her tone.
“Things have changed mom, I’ve changed,” Xander said, not sure what to tell her. “I won’t let him keep beating us. I won’t hurt him if possible, but something has to be done before he really does serious harm to us,” he told her. “You especially,” he added pointedly.
Jessica reluctantly nodded her head in agreement at this. Tony’s drunken rages had steadily gotten worse as time passed. One day she feared he would go too far, but even given that she had feared leaving him. Now she saw a change in her son, perhaps he would help her find the courage to leave Tony Harris far behind.
“You should not have kicked him Alex. He will want to pay you back for it,” Jessica said with deep concern. “You know what he is like,” she added.
“He can try,” Xander shot back heatedly. “But as I said things are different now mom. I’ll find a way to get him out of our lives,” he promised.
Jessica didn’t understand the new confidence and presence she saw in her son, but she could tell he was serious and just nodded in response. She let Xander help her up and lead her to his bedroom. Clearly she couldn’t stay in the bedroom she shared with Tony. Once she was settled Xander headed back to where his father lay. Heaving the unconscious drunk up he carried him to his parents’ bedroom and just dropped him onto the bed before leaving. He checked on his mother once more before heading to the couch. ‘Something had to be done about Tony, but what?’ he thought. Maybe he could get some help from Cordelia and Jenny or better yet Giles. He just didn’t know as his home life was not something he liked talking about. Thinking about Cordelia and Jenny brought a smile to his face as that was one part of his life that was going well. His relationship with them was slowly growing deeper and deeper.
Cordelia had thrown of her old persona of a cold hearted rich girl and now showed the warm loving woman he knew she hid beneath the surface. The last two days she had spent either with him or with Aura, the one friend from her former group that had proved to be a real friend. The only time they saw Jenny for things other than school stuff was after school for now. They were all very uneasy about being seen in any sort of compromising position. Jenny was currently looking for a new job, and Xander hoped she found one quickly so they could all spend some more time together. With Jenny and Cordelia’s faces in his mind’s eyes he fell asleep.
Cordelia lay in her bed trying to sleep, but that was kind of hard as she could hear her parents arguing from their room down the hallway. Her new attitude and refusal to play things their way was not going down well with either of them, not that she cared anymore. Things were different since Halloween, she was different and she refused to act as she used too just to please her parents and her former friends. Harmony and the others were keeping their distance and their looks of disdain did nothing but irritate her. Aura however had turned out to be smart and independent who like she had said had used Harmony and the others to keep prospective suitors away from her. If she wasn’t with Xander while at school then she usually hung out with Aura, both she and Xander had to watch how they acted around Jenny while in school. While Jenny was not really a teacher and only become one to keep an eye on Angel, she had decided to keep the job for a while longer until she could find a better paying job.
The one major headache she had at the moment was keeping her new powers under her control, being a telepath was not as great as it sounded. It took constant control to keep from invade other people’s minds. She had two lessons with Betsy and Jean so far, but they were only rudimentary lessons. At the weekend she, Jenny and Xander were going to the X-Mansion for some serious training in their new powers.
From what Betsy had told her, Professor Xavier was returning from Ganesha where he had been holding negotiations with Magneto to oversee their training. It seemed the negotiations hadn’t been going well with their old adversary. Xavier wanted a break and the whole episode in Sunnydale intrigued him enough to bring him home. Inwardly she thought maybe the Professor was concerned about having three new mutants with the same powers as Phoenix, Psylocke and Wolverine. All three were dangerous when they needed to be, but they had learned to control their powers and all believed in his dream of a united world. To suddenly have three copies in a sense, who had little control and didn’t believe in his dream, well that had to be a concern to him. More than likely he was coming back to try and ensure they did not stray into the darkness like his old friend Magneto and so many other mutants had, she doubted he had anything to worry about. They were already involved in the war against evil, and she couldn’t see any of them turning against the light. Closing her eyes as the noise from her parent’s room finally fell silent, she rolled over and finally fell into a fitful sleep.
Buffy lay awake after an uneventful patrol, her mind was as it had been for the last two days fixed on the loss of Angel. Oh she knew now that she was never meant to fall in love with him, that it had only happened because the powers had the insane idea of stripping their champions of their ability to love. The powers were now gone, executed by the order of God herself. That was still a hard concept to accept, for three years she had fought the good fight without any belief that there was a God, until now. Now she knew there was, and hopefully that meant the fight was not hopeless. That she wasn’t just holding the darkness back that she was actually making a difference that what she did actually mattered beyond the people she saved who didn’t even know the darkness existed.
She just wondered now that the X-Men were involved in her calling if it would help make the fight easier or in the long run would it make it harder somehow. At least she was now an expert in using a crossbow or regular bow, even better than she had been before Halloween. Abigail had also some skills in karate and Aikido; those would come in handy in the future. Closing her eyes she hoped the future would be less dark, the thought that she knew she had friends and allies made her sleep easier.